Lexington Bar Closing: Soundbar gay dance club on Limestone

A staple of downtown Lexington’s bar scene, known for its karaoke, drag shows and game nights, is closing.

Soundbar, a dance club and nightclub at 208 S. Limestone, announced on social media that it will close later this month.

Soundbar owners Isaac Kurs and David Jones said Wednesday they were ready to pass the baton to a new bar owner.

“We had a great race, it was a lot of fun, but the last three years have been really tough for us,” Kurs said.

The COVID shutdown, the ongoing pandemic and especially the difficulty in hiring staff have all weighed on the business, Kurs said.

“We lost a lot of long-serving staff and a lot of momentum,” he said. “Trying to rebuild it would require us to be very active, and we don’t think we have that in us right now. We’re focusing on other projects, and we’re really looking for a new tenant to take over the space. is a great place.

“We want to find someone who’s willing to take over and get out there,” Jones said.

“Soundbar will have its LAST DANCE on Saturday November 19th,” the famous gay bar announced on Facebook. “We’ve had 13 amazing years and now we’re ready to move on to other projects.”

According to the position, the space will be available for private events until a new tenant is found.

“We thank everyone who has supported us over the years, we had a great time getting to know you and dancing together,” the post said. “We would also like to thank the staff at Soundbar, you are a big part of Soundbar’s long and successful run.”

The bar opened in May 2009 and has hosted costume parties, drag brunches, bingo and more.

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Tables spaced out on the terrace of the Soundbar at 208 South Limestone in Lexington, Ky., on Thursday, May 28, 2020. Ryan C. Hermens [email protected]

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Plastic sheeting hangs between the soundbar seats at 208 South Limestone in Lexington, Ky., Thursday, May 28, 2020. Ryan C. Hermens [email protected]

During the COVID pandemic, when restaurants were allowed to reopen but bars weren’t, Soundbar ditched its dance floor to offer snacks to stay open for business.

The patio out back has also been reconfigured for spaced seating, and plastic sheeting has been hung between the bench seats inside.

LEX_200528barstransformedrestaurant (2)
Signs greet customers, informing them of new policies, near the entrance to Soundbar, at 208 South Limestone in Lexington, Ky., Thursday, May 28, 2020. Ryan C. Hermens [email protected]
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Soundbar General Manager Ken Viney, left, and owner Isaac Kurs pose for a photo at the 208 South Limestone facility in Lexington, Ky., Thursday, May 28, 2020. Ryan C. Hermens [email protected]

This story was originally published November 2, 2022 10:32 a.m.

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Janet Patton covers restaurants, bars, food and bourbon for the Herald-Leader. She is an award-winning business journalist who has also covered agriculture, gambling, horses and hemp.
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