Raise a can of PBR in salute, as P-Town punk bar Jugheads is re-opening to the public tonight with a special celebration.
As I reported a few weeks ago, former proprietor Tonya Copeland (the widow of original owner Sid Copeland) sold the bar at the end of January to the punk scenester trio of Jason Urias, Donnie Phillippi, and Chris Ceimo. If their names sound familiar, it's only because they also own the Rose and Crown Pub in Scottsdale.
All three are longtime members of the local punk scene and friends with Tonya. Urias told me that she approached them to buy Jugheads earlier this year after she decided to sell the play due to financial hardship and desire to go to nursing school.
Over the past four weeks they've been cleaning up and refurshing the bar, which is located at 5110 East McDowell Road. Urias says the place was in dilapidated condition when they took over and so far they've given the interior a new paint job and are creating a new outdoor sign (which was partially destroyed by a rock being thrown through it).
"Man, the place was place was filthy," Urias says. "I'm not saying it was a shithole, but the bathrooms were scary."
Well, it is a punk bar after all.
But the décor isn't the only thing that's changed.
If you've noticed, I've been calling it Jugheads and not J-Heads. The new owners have decided to re-christen the bar with its original moniker, which was in place for more thgan a decade before Archie Comics threatened legal action against Copeland, forcing her to drop the "ug."
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So is Urias (who's the frontman for longtime Valley punk band Plinko) worried about getting sued?
"Fuck no," Urias says. "We're calling it Jugheads, just like how Sid originally wanted it."
Hope you've got some good lawyers, yo.
Tonight's grand re-opening party also serves as the kickoff to Jugheads' new Thursday weekly, which features DJ Mark LaRue and guests spinning punk and hardcore records. The music starts at 10 p.m.