The EARL: from a fallen tree to your favorite bar

If you’re 21 or over and would like to see amazing live music in an intimate space, The EARL is an Atlanta favorite with which you should absolutely become familiar. From local bands to emerging national acts, The EARL prides itself on its diverse schedule of musical events.

The EARL (East Atlanta Restaurant & Lounge) opened in July 1999. The bar was built from a large tree that fell in the yard of one of the owners many years earlier. From this dead piece of wood emerged a lively music scene in the East Atlanta Village.

Damon Hare, head talent buyer at The EARL, spoke to Four Over Four about his experiences working at the club. Sitting in the heart of the club is his undying passion for live music. “When I was in college I started working the door here so I could see music every night. I still do,” he declared. Of course, it’s always better when your passion can also help pay the bills.

When asked how he selects talent, Hare explained, “We try to get many types of music through the door here, and we try to have the best acts possible. However, we do care about folks coming to see the bands because there is a staff that needs to make money.”

The EARL is one of the oldest bars in the EAV, and Hare likes how people count on it always being there. Whether you need to grab a beer after a long day at work or jam out to new music with friends on the weekend, the EARL will always be there for you.

The EARL on a sunny day

The number one thing somebody expects at a music venue like the EARL though is to experience high quality sound. “Our engineers are some of the best in the city! [People] can also find cheap drinks and a lively atmosphere.” From a strong base, the EARL was able to build itself from just another neighborhood bar to the standout destination it is today. “The food quality always surprises people.” Awesome music, cheap drinks, and great food? We’re in.

With a history as long as The EARL’s, we knew there would be some unusual things to happen throughout the years.

“I could go on for days, but back when I first started working, there was a Les Savy Fav show. One of the best live acts I’ve ever seen. The singer [was] very interactive with the crowd. He wrapped himself like a mummy in toilet paper, erected a ladder in the middle of the room, and then dived into the crowd.”

People don’t come to The EARL just for the music either. Hare told us how the staff (and the food) keep people coming back even when a show isn’t happening. Patrons love to hang out in the front restaurant and catch up with friends.

The EARL bar
Next time you visit Atlanta (and if you’re a local who hasn’t been there yet, it’s simply a must), be sure to catch a show at The EARL. The staff always looks forward to anniversary shows and Atlanta Mess-Around, but there’s great music to see every week!

Head on over to their website where you can keep track of what shows they have coming up.