K.J. Farrell’s of Bellmore, which offers live music seven nights a week, is in jeopardy of closing and has launched a Go Fund Me page to raise capital.
“This is not something I wanted to do. But, I was talked into it by my staff,” says owner Kevin Sheehan of Wantagh. “We cracked the doors open for to-go service on Wednesday. However, ringing $400 doesn’t even pay my employees. My rent is $11,000 a month.”
The nearly 4,000-square-foot venue, which holds 200 people, posted the Go Fund Me page on Tuesday in an effort to raise $50,000 after being dark since mid-March.
“My landlords are being patient but they want their rent,” says Sheehan, who also owns The Local Tavern in Levittown, Prohibition in Massapequa Park and The Warehouse in Amityville. “A lot of musicians are sharing the Go Fund Me page and saying nice words. I have a knot in my throat every time I look at it.”
Kenny Forgione of cover band Wonderous Stories is conducting a virtual concert on Facebook (facebook.com/Wonderous-Stories-361200639950/) called “Help Save K.J. Farrell’s” on Monday at 9 p.m. to raise funds and show support.
“Bands need places to play and this is a vital live music venue,” says Forgione, who will perform a set list of classic rock songs and take requests. “Farrell’s gave a lot of stage time to local musicians every week. There’s not many places like that anymore.”
The venue usually hosts open jams on Sunday and Monday followed by three to four original bands on Tuesday. Wednesday night Wonderous Stories plays while Thursday offers tribute bands and live band karaoke. Both Friday and Saturday nights feature two bands each day.
“We mix it up from classic rock tribute bands to top 40. Any night you walk in there’s something different going on,” says Sheehan. “Farrell’s is a running machine. It’s so uncomfortable not to have people walking through the door every week.”