J-Alans is one of my favorite no-frills bars, which is why I am saddened that the tavern located at 121 N. Ludlow St. is going out of business.
Co-owner Phil Key told me that he recently learned the bar has $70,000 in back taxes and will lose its liquor license.
“Why didn’t they tell us this three years ago?” Key asked. He owns the bar with his wife Carla.
The Keys and their former business partners opened the bar in 2006.
“We gave it our best shot and we loved it,” Phil Key said with tears in his eyes. The bar will shut its doors for the final time Friday night, he said, adding that he doesn’t think anything can be done to stop its closure.
J-Alans, which prides itself as a neighborhood bar downtown, has been a favorite local spot for city hall-types, Cleveland Browns fans, late night carousers and music lovers.
It has showcased the talents of a host of local rock, jazz, blues, reggae, bluegrass and Cajun musicians.
Stage crews from shows visiting local theaters often stop in the venue for a cold drink or three.
J-Alans is the second Ludlow bar to announce its closing in recent weeks. Moraine Embassy will close after a party on June 6.