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Dulli Buys the Bar

Former Afghan Whigs Leader Buys L.A. Bar
Greg Dulli has gone from bandleader to barkeep. The brooding vocalist has begun his post-Afghan Whigs life by purchasing the Short Stop bar near downtown Los Angeles. Dulli is the most publicly recognized name in a large group of entertainment-inclined investors who purchased the Sunset Boulevard dive under the name Vowel State Hospitality Inc. late last year.

Dulli fronted the Cincinnati-based Afghan Whigs for 14 years. The band’s breakup was announced on Feb. 6, about one month after the Short Stop re-opened under the ownership of Dulli and company. The artist, who is currently in the studio working on a second album with his group the Twilight Singers, could not be reached for comment.

Other investors in the Short Stop include art director Kevin Reagan, who received a best recording package Grammy on Wednesday evening for his work on Madonna’s “Music;” Dave Neupert, CEO of marketing firm M80 Productions; Charles Gainie, who works for Nettwerk Productions; and entertainment attorney Michael Barnes.

The Short Stop opened down the street from Dodger Stadium in 1966, and was scheduled to be closed on Dec. 31, 2000, when Vowel State stepped in to save it. Although known as a police hangout, the bar’s business was hampered by recent Los Angeles police department scandals, which caused many of its usual customers to stay away for fear of being spied upon by internal affairs investigators.

Oliver Wilson, who oversees daily operations of the Short Stop, says the new owners have taken down much of the LAPD memorabilia that adorned the bar’s brick walls, and are transforming the Short Stop from a cop hangout to a neighborhood bar.

That’s not to say the police didn’t make their mark. Wilson says the group will keep the bullet hole-stained front door that’s become a piece of L.A. bar lore. “All the bullet holes stay,” he says. “They’re all over. These guys would literally just blow their guns off at any celebration. The police are still welcome, of course. We’re keeping some Coors Light here for them.”

— Todd Martens, L.A.

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