Lindberg’s Tavern on Commercial Street in Springfield, considered one of the key venues for local music performers, has been forced to temporarily close because an employee has tested positive for COVID-19.
Lindberg’s ownership posted on Facebook Monday that they would have to be temporarily closing until “all necessary staff have been tested, cleared, and we have had the restaurant completely sanitized.”
Many local musicians consider gracing the stage at Lindberg’s a rite of passage for solo artists and bands, and with the loss of other local venues because of the COVID-19 lockdown, keeping Lindberg’s alive is vital to the city’s music scene.
“Lindbergs is one of the oldest bars in town so it is steeped in history,” Kim Painter, bassist for local band SALT, told OI. “So many bands have been on that stage that you can almost feel that collective energy. The staff is always so great, it’s nice to have a place to play that is so warm and feels like home.”
Her bandmate, SALT drummer Ryan Fannin, agrees about the importance of Lindberg’s.
“It is the best place in town for young bands, new bands, and original music,” Fannin told OI. “Their consistency in booking original bands, local and national, trying to make a name for themselves is unmatched. How can so many important places and venues continue to struggle through this. How are musicians going to get heard? How will young bands be able to get their feet wet and play in front of a built-in crowd?”
“[The temporary closure] is the exact thing you would expect from Eric Weiler and crew. He has always put his patrons, bands, and community before his profitability,” Fannin added. “It’s also the reason I know he will continue to be supported by the community of people and musicians who have called that venue home for years now. Eric’s been one of the best venue owners I’ve ever worked with because you knew you could trust his honesty. Closing temporarily to help keep the community safe just puts his character front and center.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the restaurant offset their fixed expenses while they have to stay closed.
“We have appreciated those who have supported us during this difficult time,” Lindberg’s wrote on Facebook. “And hope for continued support when we open back up.”
(Headline photo from the Lindberg’s GoFundMe campaign.)