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The Bartlett To Close November 8th

The Bartlett | Facebook


Since its opening in 2013, The Bartlett has been one of the go-to venues for live music and arts events in Spokane, especially for local, up-and-coming acts. But in September, owners Caleb and Karli Ingersoll announced in a Facebook post that The Bartlett would be closing later this fall.

The announcement was a surprise for most followers of the Spokane music scene, but owner Karli Ingersoll says it’s something she and her husband have been considering for a while.

“It’s just not something you would talk about before you announce it. And we’ve been talking about for it two years. Honestly, we’ve never taken a paycheck from it. We never wanted to do that, but I could show you the numbers, and it’s not good.”

In the end, closing The Bartlett comes down to a business decision, but Ingersoll is proud of the way they’ve used the space to promote the local music and arts scene, even if those weren’t always the most profitable events. 

“I’ve loved getting to do like, Kris Dinnison’s book release. We’ve done Get Lit!, and we’ve done World Poetry Slams. We’ve done weddings and funerals. We’ve done everything in that space. It’s so much focused on the art, and that’s how we built it. So much so that it’s a little bit shooting itself in the foot.”

Karli and her husband, Caleb Ingersoll, are not getting out of the music business, though. Their new venue, Lucky You Lounge, opened earlier this year in the old Sunset Junction Building west of downtown Spokane. 

“I don’t want to say it’s a reaction to The Bartlett, but it is a little bit. Part of the struggle with The Bartlett is that we had to book so many shows. We were doing up to twenty-three a month, which, I’m sure you can imagine, just takes an insane amount of work. So with Lucky You it was like we could do live music. We could do DJs. We could do different types of events, but do less of them. And do more regular programming like trivia and DJs on the weekend that doesn’t take as much planning.”

They’re hoping to make Lucky You more financial viable, but that doesn’t mean the Ingersolls are giving up their commitment to supporting local arts events. 

“We’re trying out a poetry thing in the basement next month and maybe a drag show in December. We do a storytelling event in the basement every other week. And we’re finding that there are just shows that we could have booked at the Bartlett where we maybe would have sold 50 tickets, that when we have them at Lucky You we’re selling 150 and people are hanging out for like four hours. It’s just a totally different energy in that space.”

As for The Bartlett’s old storefront space on Sprague Avenue downtown, it's not clear what business will be taking the music venue’s place. The final event at The Bartlett will be a farewell show on Friday, November 8th featuring music by several local bands beginning at 5 p.m.


Chris Maccini previously worked at SPR as Morning Edition host and producing arts and special programming such as The Bookshelf, Poetry Moment, Northwest Arts Review, special features and more.