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Published: Tuesday, 7/3/2012 - Updated: 3 years ago

Mickey Finn's taps into bigger draws

Owner steps back, lets new team take over

Mickey Finn’s is located at 602 Lagrange St. Mickey Finn’s is located at 602 Lagrange St.
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After 14 years running his namesake pub just north of downtown Toledo, Mickey Finn is stepping back from the day-to-day operations of the bar and music venue.

Stepping in is a team of managers and promoters who are leasing the bar from Finn for a year with an option to buy it. Headed by Innovation Concerts, a promotion firm founded by Broc Curry, the goal is to bring significantly more high-profile music to Mickey Finn's Pub, 602 Lagrange St.

The 67-year-old Mr. Finn said he would rather spend his summer relaxing than running the bar, dealing with bands, and booking shows.

"I'm in my boat right now and I'd like to spend more time here," he said when reached by phone. "And truth be told having a good promoter is really imperative in my type of venue."

He said he is "out of the loop in a big way" when it comes to finding music groups to play in the club, which holds about 550 people."

"I enjoy it, but I just don't know all the cutting-edge bands and how to deal with all these large agencies," Mr. Finn said.

Mr. Curry was formerly with another Toledo concert promotion firm, Verso Group. Innovation Concerts is booking shows at Mickey Finn's and Headliners, 4500 N. Detroit Ave. Finn's is now being managed by Jeff Sodd, who has managed other bars in the Toledo area.

He said Mr. Finn still owns the liquor license and the building and he has been helpful answering questions about the various details necessary for the club to run smoothly.

The goal is to bring in national bands, and this summer has seen or will see southern rockers Lucero, Cincinnati glam band Foxy Shazam, iconic alt-rockers Built to Spill, and gothic rockabilly hero Unknown Hinson all booked at Finn's.

Mr. Sodd took time to talk as Lucero was beginning to load their equipment into the club June 27. The band features a horn section and is well-known on the alt-rock Americana scene.

"You see that tour bus outside? That's a big bus and Lucero's a big draw," Mr. Sodd said.

Finn's has 40 nights of live music booked in June and July, he said.

The new management also has beefed up security outside the North Toledo bar about three blocks from downtown. Mr. Sodd said, noting that Finn's has a reputation for being in a rough neighborhood.

"Security was a major issue around here. We patrol the parking lot constantly," he said, adding that "the neighborhood's been great for us. We can't complain."

For his part, Mr. Finn said the club is still profitable and he's enjoying watching the new managers attempt to take it to a higher level in terms of bringing in live music.

"It's not like I'm gone. We've really added some depth to the music scene in Toledo. I think it's a paradigm shift we have here and it's going to play itself out over the summer," he said.

Contact Rod Lockwood at rlockwood@theblade.com or 419-724-6159.

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