It's official... / by Ashley Buerkett

Hi guys, my name is Ashley, and I've got some cool news. As of this weekend, my boyfriend Garrick and I will finally possess the keys to 117 N. Market/35 E. Taylor Street! It's exciting, of course, but I simply wouldn't feel comfortable discussing future plans without bringing up the history of the space and importance of those involved in it. Plus, I'm a townie and I like history.

So, as a few of you might know, the space used to be Pogo Studios, which has been run by the amazing and ever-so-talented Mark Rubel since 1980. Mark and his wife Nancy have since moved to Nashville and he will be working at the Blackbird Academy where he will no doubt continue to some amazing things and help spread his knowledge to more of his students. One of his wishes for this place was that it stayed in touch with it's roots. And no, I don't mean it's roots being that it was a speakeasy in the 30's (because we don't really need another downtown bar, do we?) but the roots being that it was the studio that held bands like Hum, Alison Krauss, Rascal Flatts, Shiner, Starcastle, Adrian Belew, Melanie, Luther Allison, Henry Butler and many others. Garrick and I made a promise to Mark and Nancy that we would keep this place filled to the brim with music so that's the plan. We wanted to tip our hats to Pogo and it's legacy, so its why I'm sharing this background with you all now. It's also kind of why we named Bull & Dog after our dog June, similar to how Pogo was named after Mark and Nancy's beloved pup. Of course we're all animal lovers, but we really just liked that tie in to the amazing place and talented people that were here before us.

So, with that said, I'm pretty sure I'm speaking for Garrick, our team, and myself when I say, we're so freaking excited and honored to move forward in this amazing space! We are pumped for the opportunity to help contribute to the flourishing local music scene in Champaign-Urbana and our neighbors in the area. We can't wait be a part of the community, and hey, hopefully soon we'll have our own little list bands we can say we helped get to the level some of Mark's clients have.

But for now... we still have quite a road ahead of us. Lots of equipment to move, lots of work to be done, and details to iron out, but please come check back soon! And of course, feel free to e-mail me if you guys ever have questions!