UPDATED: Just posted on WSMV – The GoFundMe page was not authorized & ALL MONEY IS BEING RETURNED.
“Everybody who donated money, it will be returned to them,” said Santa’s Pub owner Elmer Irwin, who went on to say he’d post a message to Facebook advising anyone who donated money to get it back.“
In the past 24 hours a GoFundMe page has appeared ‘claiming’ to be for Santa’s Pub – a supposed effort to keep the dive bar that a lot of East Nashvillian’s love from closing. Is it real? Is it even for Santa’s Pub? Or is it all just a scam? There are no official mentions or links from any officially recognized Santa’s Pub social media accounts to the GoFundMe page or any reference at all. Some posts associated with the GoFundMe page indicate that Santa’s Pub could close as soon as this Thursday (5 days from now) if they don’t raise $20,000! We can’t imagine anything that’s $20K that’s SUDDENLY due in 5 days – their rent is no where near that amount, and unless they’ve not paid any bills in the past 6 months, nothing could possibly add up to a 5 day close if 20K isn’t raised that quickly. Unless maybe he gambled the business license on a Superbowl bet? Who knows. What if they raise the $20K and continue to operate – we will never really know if it was needed or not – or just a cash grab from the owners, if really even from the owners, from their customer base. There is no where near enough info for this to be legitimate. Things need to be MUCH more transparent for this to be legitimate. The small explanation on the GoFundMe page simply says:
“Santa’s Pub located in Nashville, Tennessee, is close to shutting down, possibly by Thursday! Due to expenses and bills and taxes and structural damage to the establishment, we’re here to ask for your help. Santa is one of the most generous and kind human beings in the world for anyone who’s ever had the pleasure of meeting him. It’s him and nothing else that makes Santa’s Pub one of the best bars in the world. Anything helps we appreciate any donation. Who loves ya baby?“
We do know their GoFundMe page has raised $995 as of Noon on Sunday at time of this article update, donated by 26 people. Their stated goal is $20,000 – and we’re still trying to figure out why a properly ran commercial enterprise would need to have $20,000 on hand within 5 days or have to close their doors – that just isn’t the way things work. Even their POs would have several weeks on them, and their landlord would take weeks if not months for a commercial eviction process to be completed – so it will be interesting to see exactly whose pocket this money is funneling into at the end of the day. And also, it’s setup on a personal GoFundMe Account, which is considered person to person gifts, and are not taxed by the IRS – which will make for an interesting conversion when/if the money is transferred onto the commercial books of the business and how it’s categorized.
*IF* Santa’s Pub is closing – then it certainly deserves to be closing. After all, if a dive bar hasn’t bothered to update their own social media page in over 4 MONTHS, what can they really expect? Their last social media post on Facebook was last year, in October 2015. We understand that a ‘dive’ bar has certain characteristics that some consider charming, like depending on word of mouth for business, etc… but if you’re 20K in the hole, then there’s a much bigger issue here, and you don’t know the first thing about running a business.
Mismanaged is only one of many words we would use to describe this bar. They only take cash, so there is no credit card overheard cost. They do not have an indoor ATM in a cash only bar – they are missing out on a HUGE % cut of every ATM withdrawal – how can you not see the clear opportunity here for a captive audience trying to purchase your product/service? there is no wonder this bar is failing. Add in a huge cloud of cigarette smoke in the bar, and an owner that kicks customers out who slip up and say a 4-letter “curse” word in their private conversations at the bar, and you have nothing but a recipe for disaster. We have no clue how they’ve stayed in business this long.
Is Santa’s Pub really in danger of closing in the next 4 days if they don’t raise $20K? We call bullshit on this one – though we would certainly not miss the place if it closed up shop. Sure it was on ‘OK’ dive bar for karaoke and super cheap beer – but overall the place is/was a mismanaged business that has no place in the future nightlife of Nashville.
Whether Santa’s pub is really closing as soon as Thursday – or in the next few weeks – or even if they’re closing at all, we do think it’s past time for this bar to be over with. We’re still confused why a bar would have to have so much due within five days to be able to keep the doors open. Unless they’re too broke to purchase beer – and there’s no way they need $20K for kegs – there’s no legitimate reason to need so much so quickly. This sounds more and more like a scam the more we l0ok into it.. or at the very least, a horribly mismanaged commercial enterprise. Is it an employee that’s disgruntled and attempting to use the name recognition to pull a fast one over on the bar’s name and customer base? It is just an owner that’s using the bar proceeds for personal use/betting/etc? Is it just a horribly mismanaged commercial enterprise that is belly up and is attempting to give it’s owner some cushion before it goes belly up and he runs away with the donations? We’ll let East Nashville patrons be the judge – or we can all just wait a few days and see how it plays out. We’re certain this story isn’t over yet – and there is more that we will learn in the coming days.