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Funeral Bar Dies

Controversial funeral home bar is closing down: Death blow delivered by new mixed-use development

News_Roak on Kirby_bar_funeral bar
Despite complaints from neighbors, Roak thrived on Kirby. Photo via Roak on Kirby/Facebook
News_Roak on Kirby_bar_funeral bar_swimming pool
Roak's pool made it a popular destination.  Photo via Roak on Kirby/Facebook
News_Roak on Kirby_bar_funeral bar
News_Roak on Kirby_bar_funeral bar_swimming pool

Roak, Hendricks Pub and OTC — the Upper Kirby bar/nightclub complex that parties hard in a former funeral home — are all closing down. The clubs' swan song will be a series of bashes Friday through Sunday.

A new, mixed use development called The Kirby Collection is coming to the block that will remove the bars, as well as the neighboring building that houses Cafe Express and the galleries closer to Richmond. (Update: Jonathan Kagan, who owns the galleries on Kirby, tells CultureMap his properties are not included in the new development.)

 "It's never really had a down time. After all the legal stuff, we made a lot of money."   

Despite being labeled a neighborhood nuisance by a jury, the bars have thrived over the years. That spirit continues throughout the weekend and concludes with a fashion show on Sunday.  

"It's never really had a down time," says Chris Amez, one of the partners in The Kirby Group that owns the concepts. "After all the legal stuff, we made a lot of money." 

The club's patrons will have to find a new location, but Roak isn't gone forever. "We're going to get a spot in the new building on the second floor," Amez says. He compares it to the position Saint Genevieve has within West Ave. 

The party may be dead for now, but it seems poised to return as strong as ever in a couple of years.

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