Tewligans

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Tewligans
Location Louisville, Kentucky,
United States
Opened 1981
Closed 1996

Tewligans was a famous live music venue in Louisville, Kentucky. The venue operated between 1981 and 1996 at 1047 Bardstown Road in the Highlands neighborhood. Tewligans changed ownership a number of times, being known for a short time by the name "Snagilwet," which is "Tewligans" spelled backwards.

Tewligans provided a local stage for local, regional and national acts including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, Yo La Tengo, Slint, Widespread Panic, Squirrel Bait, Love Jones, NRBQ, Jonathan Richman, R.E.M.,Crunchy Cereal, Steve Forbert, Kentucky Headhunters, A Flock of Seagulls, Bo Diddley, Guadalcanal Diary, Miracle Legion, U2, Fugazi, Rollins Band, T.S.O.L., Blue Rodeo, Royal Crescent Mob, Afghan Whigs, Mojo Nixon, Hasil Adkins, Bodeco and many others.

The original plywood stage was demolished ca. 1991 and a new stage constructed using unfinished oak pallet lumber purchased from Hillerich & Bradsby.

Tewligans often hosted (illegal) afterhours parties for regular patrons who would drink free until whatever keg was in service had run dry. On other nights, patrons could walk the short distance to the infamous Hepburn House, wherein an afterhours speakeasy operated.


Probably one of Tewligan's best known figures was prominent Louisville attorney Thomas E. Roma Jr. Tom was part owner, co-manager and dedicated "beer-tender", night after night, from 1981 to 1987. A former member of Deep Purple, Tom never recorded, but did front the band on tour between oustings of lead singers Ian Gillan and David Coverdale. Contrary to the popular local lore, Tom denies ever dating Natalie Merchant.

The space reopened as "The Cherokee," which also operated as a live music venue. As of 2006, the location is operated as "Cahoots" and frequently features the same kinds of hardcore, punk rock and indie rock bands that used to grace the stage of Tewligans.

According to The Courier-Journal, '"Tewligans was a lifestyle."

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