The next time that country music king Toby Keith ambles into Phoenix, he’ll only be here for whatever concert he’s scheduled to perform — and certainly not for any personal appearances at any of his namesake venues.
That’s because, as of this week, there aren’t any left in the Valley.
The sole Phoenix location of Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, a chain of country music-themed hybrid bar/restaurant/performance venues that are endorsed by the chart-topping superstar and carried his name, unceremoniously closed its doors on Tuesday. The spot's Facebook page has been deleted and its phone is no longer in operation.
The shuttering of the establishment, which was located at the High Street retail center in North Phoenix, comes approximately four months after its opening and followed the closure of another Toby Keith's over in Peoria earlier this summer.
As you may have guessed, the establishments riffed on Keith's hit 2003 song, “I Love This Bar.” As per the singer's down-home leanings, each of the Toby Keith's locations (when they were in operation, that is) featured a large guitar-shaped bar, rustic kitsch, drinks in mason jars, and played host to a variety of local country and western acts like Chad Freeman and Redline, as well as such touring artists as Phil Vassar, Rodney Atkins, and Cassadee Pope.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Keith would also occasionally perform at the spots, which would often coincide with his concert appearances in the Valley. The Peoria location, which was situated at the Loop 101 and Northern Avenue, also hosted a big after-party following Keith's concert at Ak-Chin Pavillion in late May.
Arizona isn't the only area that's losing Toby Keith's, however. According to Wikipedia, a number of locations across the country have closed since last year. The list includes spots in Virginia, New York, and California, as well as Toby Keith's in such Red States as Texas, Georgia, and Alabama.
A majority of the closures were apparently due to financial woes or just flat-out failing to pay their rent. Per Wikipedia, the Newport News reportedly owed half a million dollars to its landlord.
Given Keith's notorious and well-documented anti-Obama beliefs, we wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the country star somehow blames the POTUS and his financial policies for all the closures in some fashion.