CD Release - Still the Star Bar

L5P mainstay staying put for now

Rumors have been circling about the Star Bar in Little 5 Points — is it changing ownership, turning into a reggae bar and/or outright closing? The bar is changing hands, but according to Dave Parker (one-third owner of the place along with Jim Stacy and Gary Yoxen) little else will change when the current partners turn the helm over this summer to the owners of CJ's Landing: Stephen Hudnall and partners.

"Dave and Marty had this place for 10 years," Parker says, referring to previous owners, the Keeper brothers. "We kept it going another seven. It's time to pass the torch. It'll be the same blue-collar bar where PBR is the biggest seller, same faces behind the bar, same bands. The only difference is Jim and I will be drinking from this side of the bar," Parker says, sitting on a stool alongside Star Bar regulars who've been visiting the place more than 15 years.

"Bubbapalooza, the Gracevault, karaoke, disco, all the stuff on the walls – it'll all still be here. We're not trying to bring Buckhead to Little 5," Parker says. "We're proud of what we've done with the place."

Apparently it's exactly what Hudnall was searching for. "I was looking for something between the Poncey MJQ scene and the East Atlanta Village Earl scene," he says. "I was considering starting from scratch in Decatur but then this opportunity came up."

Keeping any bar open 17 years is a feat within Atlanta's fickle nightlife. The Star Bar came to maturity during the swing revival era when rootsy country and rockabilly could pack the house. The last five years have seen more garage, metal and indie fare than rockabilly, a trend likely to continue with Bryan Malone, bartender and lead singer of the Forty-Fives, doing the booking.

When asked what's next for the current partners, Parker smiles. "Gary is going back to tattooing full time. Jim is going to open up a little hot-dog stand. ... And I've got the opportunity to turn pro bass fisher, so I should do it while I can."

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