UPDATE: A visit to Frank’s Power Plant Tuesday night has confirmed that Frank’s is not closed. Here’s what’s going on (we think).
Multiple people on social media are reporting that longtime Bay View bar/venue/neighborhood hangout Frank’s Power Plant, 2800 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., has abruptly closed. Both Frank’s website and Facebook page have been deleted or disabled.
The sudden closure—due to the apparent sale of the business by the owner—came as a surprise to Frank’s staff.
“After investigation by our GM, the majority of the staff was told Sunday afternoon, so we made sure we could get all the staff together last night for some last hugs and laughs in the old spot,” says Gian Pogliano, who was the live sound engineer at Frank’s since July 2011, in charge of booking since November 2014, and was promoted to assistant manager this past May. “We got our personal belongings out—DVDs, my own sound equipment that I brought to improve shows—and we were able to break the news to our friends and regulars during the festivities [Sunday night].”
Brian Smith fondly describes the venue’s regulars as a “big family full of misfits.” His group, venerable rebel country band God’s Outlaw, played the final Frank’s show on Sunday.
“People from all walks of life frequented Frank’s Power Plant. Bands of all types, from punk to rock, jazz to country, performed weekly,” Smith says. “Becky Cottreau has been the manager as long as I can remember, about 10 years at least. She was the heart and soul of that place. […] She put a lot and time and effort making everyone feel at home. I hope the new owners continue the tradition and keep the music and all the workers. They are truly amazing people.”
Frank’s was known for its gritty punk and metal shows, though Pogliano highlights the other types of events the venue hosted, like drag shows and benefits for Planned Parenthood and Standing Rock.
“Everyone would always talk about us doing punk and metal, but we attracted a wide range of people and became a real melting pot, and I’ll always be proud of that,” he says.
Pogliano is currently in the process of rescheduling all the events Frank’s had booked before it closed. He’s been in contact with a number of other venues, and details of show changes are expected to be announced in a few days.
We’ll have further updates soon.