PHOTOS: Remembering the Silver Dollar Saloon
This was one of those rare places that was claimed by both Lansing AND East Lansing...the infamous Silver Dollar Saloon (see the photo gallery below).
The early incarnations of the Silver Dollar Saloon were as follows:
1) Spartan Bowling Alleys, 1941
2) Great Lakes Indoor Golf-a-Tron
3) Grandmother's (Rock)
4) Tin Lizzie (Dixieland)
5) The Brewery (Rock), 1972
Until finally, it became the Silver Dollar Saloon in 1975.
But if it featured rock bands, as it did when it was called The Brewery, why change the name?
According to owner Rick Becker in a 1975 Lansing State Journal article:
"(The Brewery) was too loud, too dark and too nasty".....the name was changed in an attempt to....."counter its one-time reputation as a bawdy brawling house."
Yes, The Brewery brought in some top bands...but so did the Silver Dollar, from A to Z. If you visited the Dollar you may have seen any or one of the following:
ALICE IN CHAINS
BLUE OYSTER CULT
FLO & EDDIE
HENRY LEE SUMMER
PURE PRAIRIE LEAGUE
TOMMY JAMES & THE SHONDELLS
...and many more.
The Silver Dollar was different from The Brewery, in that customers couldn't dress as slobs...they had to dress neatly; blue jeans, yes, but with no holes.
As the years went by, in order to save some money, the venue switched to deejays spinning vinyl...after numerous complaints, the Dollar decided to turn itself over to country music by 1991.
In another attempt to fix something that ain't broken, it volleyed back & forth between live deejays and bands in 1998.
The lack of customer interest, the ever-growing band fees plus other monetary factors caused the Dollar to go deep into debt...so much so, that Ingham County foreclosed the place in 2006, citing unpaid property taxes.
The much-loved Dollar was finally torn down in 2009, much to the chagrin of those who had fond memories of spending their weekends enjoying their favorite bands, and Midtown Apartments were erected in its place.
To read my post on "The Brewery," CLICK HERE.
Take a look at the photos below...then, to read more and to see over thirty vintage photos of the old Silver Dollar Saloon, check out the gallery at: lansingstatejournal.com.