Greenville, South Carolina Country Music Venue Abruptly Shuts Down After Nearly Three Decades In Operation

Blind Horse
Blind Horse Saloon

RIP.

The Blind Horse Saloon, a popular honky tonk bar and country music venue in Greenville, SC, is closing it’s doors after 29 years of operation, they announced on social media yesterday. The venue has been a mainstay on the southeastern touring circuit, providing both up and coming and established country music acts with a tour stop directly between Charlotte and Atlanta, and perhaps more importantly, serving as a gathering place for country music fans to enjoy live country music.

“To all our customers,

Due to the South Carolina liquor insurance requirements we are regrettably having to close our doors… Effective immediately. It has been a wonderful 29 years. Thank you!

– The Blind Horse Saloon”

Citing South Carolina’s liquor insurance laws as the impetus for the unfortunate announcement, a quick Google search turns up that legislators from the Palmetto State had passed legislation fairly recently that requires establishments serving alcohol to have a $1 million liability insurance policy. This was made in response to a tragic incident in which an uninsured drunk driver left an uninsured bar and caused catastrophic injury to a police officer in a collision shortly there after.

While it sounds like the law was passed to cover instances like that, and for good reason, it unfortunately has proved overly punitive as the expensive policy requirement has forced many bars to shut down and made it increasingly difficult for others to continue their operations, and lawmakers haven’t yet been able to mitigate the issue by amending the legislation.

The cash-only bar, which has a very similar sister venue under the same ownership in Charlotte called Coyote Joe’s, has typically hosted line dancing ladies nights on Wednesdays, and live music on Fridays and Saturdays, whether it be a ticketed event or a cover set from their house band One Eyed Joe.

Among those who have expressed their condolences in the comment section is “Giving You Up” singer Kameron Marlowe, who as a native of the Charlotte area, has played plenty of shows of The Blind Horse Saloon over the years.

I went to college not too far from the venue, and saw plenty of awesome shows there over the years, including Riley Green, Koe Wetzel, Parker McCollum, Flatland Cavalry, Cody Canada & the Departed, and Dierks Bentley, to name a few, so this is some sad news. Hopefully this all gets resolved somehow and ends up being a false alarm, but judging by the abrupt announcement and immediate closure, I wouldn’t bet on it.

Here’s to a good run, though.

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