March 25, 2019 | 44° F

New Brunswick business owner plans to reopen the court tavern

Photo by Alex Van Driesen |

The owner of Mike’s Courtside Sports Bar and Grill bought The Court Tavern at an auction and plans to reopen a music venue in the same Church Street location. The Court closed in January.

A few months after The Court Tavern closed, Michael Barrood, the owner of Mike’s Courtside Sports Bar and Grill, plans to reopen a music venue in the Court’s same Church Street location.

After decades of being a part of the New Brunswick music scene, Court Tavern owner Bob Albert shut down the venue in January, according to a Daily Targum article.

Barrood, who said he did not know why Albert closed The Court Tavern, became interested in buying the local dive bar, taking the initiative after it went on the market.

“I bought it because [the owner] lost it, and it went to auction,” Barrood said. “I went to the auction, and it sold for the right price.”

While still uncertain about the direction he will take with the establishment, Barrood said he hopes to start working on the bar as soon as possible.

“I don’t have exact plans yet. I do plan on trying to find a liquor license. I haven’t really been able to go through the building and see what it needs,” he said. “I need to get a crew in there.”

Barrood said it is likely the new bar will continue to cater to the local music scene, as he is aware that many of the residents who visit the New Brunswick downtown area miss the entertainment.

“As of right now, if the place isn’t in that bad of shape and I can get it up pretty quick without a liquor license, I plan on opening it as a live music venue,” he said. “I’ll probably do 18 and over for the time being.”

Barrood said it is still too early to give dates for the establishment’s reopening.

“It needs a lot of work,” he said. “I don’t know how long it’s going to take or what it’s going to need.”

The Court Tavern celebrated its 30th anniversary at the location in 2011 and has hosted bands such as The Smithereens, Crossfire Choir and The Gaslight Anthem, according to

— Giancarlo Chaux

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