Deep South Entertainment Makes Way for Expansion by Closing Deep South the Bar


A letter from Deep South Entertainment President and CEO, Dave Rose, about the upcoming closure of Deep South the Bar.

November 19, 2018
From: Dave Rose
President / CEO – Deep South Entertainment

It is with heavy hearts that we have decided to close Deep South The Bar. The final show at the venue will take place on December 31, 2018.  While I'm extremely sad to be closing the bar after 11 successful years, I'm excited for what the future holds for the other aspects of our company.  And I'm of course excited about the future of downtown Raleigh and its music community as well.

I co-founded Deep South Entertainment, the parent company for the bar, in 1995 as an artist management and event management company - and we have remained an industry leader in those fields in the 23 years since.  In 2007 we broadened our reach by opening Deep South The Bar, a 100 person capacity live music venue in downtown Raleigh.

During the bar’s 11 years, we focused primarily on quality local live music of all genres.  We have had the privilege to provide a stage for some of the most talented musicians in the world.  I will miss that dearly. I have such fond memories of the musicians and music fans that called Deep South their home.  I'm of course incredibly thankful to the staff, musicians, and patrons that allowed us to carry on all these years.

I estimate Deep South The Bar hosted over 40,000 musicians in our 11 years of business.  We have been a Hopscotch venue since its inaugural year, and we've hosted bluegrass acts during IBMA's World of Bluegrass.  And almost every year since we opened saw us nominated for Best Open Mic in the Triangle by the readers of Indy Week.

Deep South Entertainment recently opened an office in Nashville, TN.  Our Raleigh office is thriving, booking the North Carolina State Fair along with countless other festivals and events throughout Eastern North Carolina, as well as co-producing Raleigh's live music television show, Oak City Sessions.  We plan to grow both of our offices in 2019 as well as explore opening a 3rd location. Additionally I plan to continue to serve on the Raleigh Convention Center and Performing Arts Commission as well as Visit Raleigh’s Live Music Advisory Board.

I cannot overstate how much I will miss the Bar being a part of the downtown Raleigh landscape, but it's time for change.  I realize anytime a business closes, people naturally, and rightfully-so, want to know why it's closing. I wish it were as simple as one defining reason, but it's not.  It's actually 3 main reasons that were all carefully considered:

1.  As much as I love Deep South the Bar, a live music venue is not in the long term plan for the company.  As a strategic and overall long-term plan for Deep South Entertainment, I plan on focusing our resources and efforts on what we do best - Artist management and Event management.  We will of course remain very engaged in the local music scene through our concerts and events, as we always have - long before we even opened a bar. Additionally, many of the national recording artists we represent call North Carolina home in some way or another, and we look forward to growing that roster, worldwide.

2.  Our lease was scheduled to end at the end of 2018, and though our landlord provided us a fair and reasonable offer to renew, I decided not to extend the lease.  With my current business model I would not have been able to sustain under the newly proposed lease. But to be very clear - of the 3 reasons for closing, this one had very little impact on my decision.

3.  The most important reason - I have a 3 year old son and my wife and I are expecting a second child in April of 2019.  Owning a bar just wasn't in the cards for me for the next chapter in my life. Although I have an amazing staff who manage and operate it, it's still a very time-consuming venture owning a bar, often requiring my attention during hours that aren't as conducive to raising a family.  There are many bar owners who raise wonderful families. I admire them tremendously. But for me personally, I just didn't feel like bar ownership was the right move for my family and me during this next chapter of our lives.

Those 3 reasons played a role in my decision to close Deep South the Bar, my family being the most important of those, but all were part of this difficult decision.

To the musicians who allowed me the privilege of hosting your show at Deep South the Bar, I very sincerely thank you.  You work hard on your craft to play and perform your music. I don't take it lightly that you chose our stage as a place to perform those songs.  Thank you very much! I look forward to staying in touch with you all.

To the music fans who came to see shows at our place, you are what made it work. I loved getting to know many of you throughout the years.  Some of my best friends today I met because of Deep South The Bar. Without you there would be no venue or bands. It's because of you that this place worked.  Please continue to support local music by attending shows at other venues in Raleigh - Kings, The Pour House, Maywood, The Lincoln, Slims, etc. (There's too many to list.  Visit to stay updated on local shows).

To the staff.  You are the best in the business. Truly. Thank you for always putting the values of the company first.  It is the best feeling in the world to frequently hear from strangers what a great experience they had at Deep South The Bar.  You are nice to everyone. You are considerate. And you care about the music. I'm the lucky one to have been able to work with you all - this includes those who have worked with us in the past.  I've had a great team over the years. John Booker, thank you for running this bar so successfully for so many years. Amy Cox, thank you for being such an advocate for local music, our company, and for all that you've done to make this bar a success.   

Also, thank you to everyone who has painted a lyric on the wall.  You gave that place character. We have taken photos of all the lyrics and posted them to Deep South the Bar’s Facebook page. You can download yours from there if you’d like.

And most importantly, thank you to my wife Melanie who has helped me in so many ways opening and operating the bar over the past 11 years.  

Thank you all for allowing me to be a part of the best local music scene in the world.  I look forward to my continued growth here and to seeing you all around town.

With much gratitude,

Dave Rose

A list of final shows can be found at (updating regularly over the coming days)