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Live music is alive and well at Malarkey’s Pub

Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 9:53 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Malarkey’s Pub thrives on music in their atmosphere. Even though they’ve been closed at different points in five months the last year, not having musicians was never in the cards.

“It didn’t cross my mind that we wouldn’t do whatever we could to keep everybody working,” said Tyler Vogt, the owner of Malarkey’s Pub and Townie’s Grill.

On the stage, the sweet sound of that guitar is music to the ears.

“That’s where I want to be. That’s where the music, for me, comes alive,” explained Tony Williams, Friday’s Malarkey’s Pub musician who is based out of Minneapolis, “And I really get to breathe life into the songs that I am playing.”

But keeping the sound going hasn’t been easy. A normally crowded place has been spaced out.

“We didn’t really want to get a throng of people dancing together, I don’t even know if we’re supposed to,” said Vogt, “So what we decided to do is try to present shows that make sense to watch from tables.”

They installed projectors to show the performance throughout the restaurant. Patrons are spread around the dining area during the show.

“Anywhere in this restaurant. You can watch the show, hear the show and get table service,” Vogt said, “You didn’t need to get up to go to the bar. So the amount of congregation was lower.”

Musician Tony Williams has performed on a semi-regular basis, he’s been able to find work by traveling out of his home state in Minnesota.

“So the Wausaus, the Fargos, the North Dakotas, Sioux Falls, Des Moines, that kind of thing,” said Williams.

At Malarkey’s Pub, it’s been around 25 different musicians like Williams since October.

“It almost feels like you’re not even worried about it,” Vogt said, “It feels like the way, it’s supposed to be.”

While they are focused more on the restaurant aspect than in the past, live music was not going away.

“We have a stage, we’ve got a PA, and we’ve got closed-circuit TV and I got a lot of friends that play music and they are hurting too,” Vogt explained, “So we are open to keep employees going. And we hire music to keep music culture going.”

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