Employees and performers blindsided by Butchertown bar’s sudden closure

Employees at a Butchertown bar and music venue were employed one day, then had no job the following day.
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 11:27 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Employees at a Butchertown bar and music venue were employed one day, then had no job the following day.

The Whirling Tiger closed suddenly without an explanation Monday, raising eyebrows from the people who are now out of work.

Beth Dunn is the founder of the Harlots and Hellions Arts Collective. They were scheduled to perform their live music and burlesque show at the Whirling Tiger on October 8.

That is until the Whirling Tiger closed.

“We had put several hundred dollars promoting the show, they had not taken on those responsibilities,” Dunn said. “Not to mention rentals, costuming, any number of things that go into producing a show of that scale.”

The burlesque show was to celebrate the group’s five-year anniversary.

Just a week and a half away, Dunn found out about the closure from an employee.

“And they’re like, ‘Hey did you hear about this?’” Dunn said. “And I was like, ‘Are you sure?’ She’s like, ‘Yeah positive. They closed the doors last night. I don’t have a job anymore.’ She’s like, ‘All shows are cancelled as well,’”

Dunn said she still hasn’t heard from the owner of the Whirling Tiger.

“I tried to reach out to him on Facebook, and he blocked me,” Dunn said.

I reached out to the owner, and he pointed me to a post on the Whirling Tiger Facebook page.

The post says in part, “We tried our hardest and put our best foot forward. It’s always a knee jerk reaction to blame someone else or something else, but at the end of the day we have to own it and we do.”

WAVE News talked to a former Whirling Tiger employee who wanted to stay anonymous. They said employees were told the bar wasn’t making enough money and the rent was too high.

The employees told WAVE they were offered jobs at the owners’ other businesses, but said those places are fully staffed, so they’d have to take someone else’s job.

“For me, I’m out a few hundred bucks,” Dunn said. “For these people, that was their livelihood. That was their job.”

Harlots and Hellion was able to find another venue for the group’s show next week. It will now be at Never Say Die bar on Shelbyville Road.