The Barking Spider Will Bark Again As Dave's Cosmic Subs

[photo: Doug Trattner]
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September 18, 2016, was a sad day for many Northeast Ohio music fans as the Barking Spider Tavern closed its doors after 30 years of presenting acoustic music of all kinds on the Case Western Reserve University campus.

However, music will soon return to the space.

Dave’s Cosmic Subs will open a sandwich shop, possibly in late 2018, in the carriage house that served as the Spider’s home. The sub chain is known for its psychedelic décor inside, with plenty of rock and roll memorabilia. This will be the first location to offer live music and a full service bar. North Coast Cosmic Subs, a Dave’s Cosmic Subs franchisee, has signed a long-term lease on the University-owned building on Juniper Road.

Dave’s Cosmic Subs founder Dave Lombardy, who spent the 1970s into the early 1980s working as a rock singer and actor, wasn’t really thinking about the Barking Spider as a location for one of the shops.

“I was walking around less than a year ago, looking at a little house that’s near the Barking Spider that I thought would make a cool little Dave’s. Then I remembered the Barking Spider.  I thought, ‘wow, it needs work, but we’re going to fix it.’  There's a real dynamic feel, you can almost hear the voices when you walk in there,” Lombardy said.

Those voices belonged to the musicians and patrons who made the no-frills spot a favorite hangout since Martin Juredine and Bruce Madorsky opened the club more than thirty years ago. Lombardy says that while renovations are needed, fans of the old Spider won’t have any problem recognizing the place.

“We’re keeping 80 percent of it.  All that energy is still going to stay.  I’m a believer that when you buy a house that needs a lot of work, you fix up the house but you keep the remnants of the original because that’s what gave you that feel.  It’s the same with this.  There’s a bar there, that’s beat up.  We’re keeping the bar there, we’re just going to clean it up.”

Lombardy is excited to be setting up shop in that particular section of University Circle.

“There’s something about that corner with the kids of Case and Little Italy. There’s an energy there of school kids and non-school kids,” Lombardy said.

The Barking Spider was known for its eclectic musical lineup, offering everything from blues to jazz to Americana to reggae.  Lombardy hasn’t yet decided whether the new space will take that expansive of an approach.

“I think I might stick to rock and roll, I’m not sure.  I would definitely consider something from classical to rock and roll to jazz, or whatever, but I think it is going to be a rock and roll haven.”

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