If you’re a live music fan in Savannah, you probably already know that Hang Fire’s lease is up soon. They’ll be gone from Whitaker Street after Saturday, August 29th, as I understand it.
They’ve got shirts for the occasion — in the Insta embed is the one I bought last night. They’re just $15 and available at the bar.
As our Savannah readers probably know, Hang Fire has for years been involved in legal wrangling regarding noise. Condo purchasers above them apparently didn’t check out the space at night before making their purchase. Hang Fire’s impending departure raises all kinds of policy questions regarding the noise ordinance, the rights of bars when gentrifiers move in, the problems of condo associations generally, etc.
Hang Fire’s departure feels like the end of a brief era in downtown nightlife. Wes, Heather, and the rest of the team have nurtured an unpredictably diverse clientele, and, especially over the last couple of years, Hang Fire has been home to some stunningly good shows. The bar wasn’t originally conceived as a live music venue, but it turned into a great one. Bands seemed to relish the immediacy of the crowd, and other groups like the House of Gunt have found a home there too.
The Hang Fire owners have been looking around at potential new spaces, but even if they find something tomorrow, the transition period could easily last 2+ months, even if the new space is more or less ready to go. There are limited spots downtown that would even work for Hang Fire these days — River Street would be out, Congress is pretty full and increasingly pricy, etc. I think there are a couple of subterranean spots on Broughton that could have a bar like Hang Fire, but I’d really like to see them move south of Forsyth Park. Most of the bar’s clientele lives on that side of the park already, and Hang Fire could quickly find a home on a kind of sketchy stretch somewhere, like on Montgomery Street.
Until I hear otherwise, I’m going to assume that Hang Fire will in fact reopen in a new location, but if they decide otherwise, maybe a young entrepreneur will see the obvious need for a place like it.
I imagine we’ll have additional posts about Hang Fire’s departure from Whitaker Street soon, but for now here are a bunch of randomly selected photos from the hissing lawns archive for 2015 only, plus this one older shot of Wes, Rich, and Clayton, from Stopover 2011. If you don’t recognize the acts, hover over to see the file name.
More photos after the jump: