Two bluegrass hot spots close their doors

Tir Na Nog Irish PubSad news for bluegrass lovers in two southern towns…

Tir na Nog in Raleigh, NC and Natasha’s Bistro & Bar in Lexington, KY have both announced that they are closing their doors. Both restaurants had regularly hosted bluegrass music for many years and will leave a sizable hole in the entertainment listings for acoustic music lovers in both communities.

Tir na Nog, as the name suggests, was an Irish pub close to the state capitol in Raleigh which has served as a showcase venue this past three years during the World of Bluegrass convention. If you’ve ever attended in Raleigh, chances are you dropped in to hear some music or just to grab some beef stew or a bangers and mash.

In addition to traditional Irish folk music, bluegrass has been an important part of the musical fare at Tir na Nog. But owner Pete Pagano is ready to call it quits after 18 years, and the space will be closed November 22 for conversion into a dim sum restaurant and micro brewery.

Natasha's Bistro & BarLikewise in Lexington, Natasha’s is shutting down after operating for 15 years near the Kentucky Theatre downtown. Their entertainment offerings were quite diverse, as was their menu of gourmet food, but bluegrass was always a staple ingredient.

They closed effective November 2, saying that they would be considering options for the future. Doesn’t sound good.

Visitors and locals recall both spots for good food, great music, and downtown fun. Farewell, Tir na Nog and Natasha’s.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.