This is one of those we-know-the-what-but-not-the-why deals. Skinny Dugan's is closed, again. That’s the what. The why is not quite clear, at least not as clear as the empty parking lot and boarded-up entrance with a hastily crafted warning sign taped to it.
What we know is that about two weeks ago one of the new owners of Skinny Dugan's walked into the bar during the day shift and said the place was closing. Everybody out. At least that’s one version I’ve heard from someone who was there when it happened. The place was summarily shut down with no explanation.
Aside from serving as home to one of the fabled 12-step recovery meetings in this city – a powerful noon weekday men’s stag session that often drew 60 members of the local AA community – Skinny’s is one of the more storied haunts in the city (read an item in this column, written in by me in October of 2006, about Skinny’s). Brothers Fred and Bob Keck owned the pub since 1973 and sold to Fred Gluckman and Margot Aiken of Del Mar, Calif. The new owners sunk a lot of money – I’ve heard about $2 million, which goes a long way in a 35-year-old sports bar -– into the new business, which reopened earlier this year.
The new place was far larger, with upgrades like a bunch of new flat-screen TVs, than the club owned by the Kecks, and its closing was at once unexpected and mysterious. We will keep you posted on the skinny on West Charleston Boulevard.