Bayport BBQ pulls the plug on live blues music after neighbor complaints

- Bayport BBQ in the small town of Bayport, Minn. on the shores of the St. Croix River has become a destination for blues bands from around the world, but the family-run juke joint will soon be turning down the music for good.

Since it opened five years ago, the “deep blues” juke joint has served up a steady stream of alternative blues artists, from legendary acts like Leo Bud Welch to local musicians like Jaw Knee Vee.

“That live blues music almost changes the flavor of the food, You get that feeling that you are down south.

But about a year ago, it started to get complaints from neighbors and the city about the noise, so owner Chris Johnson decided to permanently pull the plug.

“[I have] mixed emotions when it comes to the music. [It’s] sad to end that but I’m excited that the restaurant is doing well. It’s something to do with my family [and] give my kids,” Johnson said.

And since the restaurant appeared on the Food Network show, “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” with Guy Fieri this summer, Johnson's BBQ business has been booming.

“Our food business is so busy I need the time. This is just my wife and myself and my kids,” Johnson said. “Not doing the music will allow me to concentrate on the food.”

But even without the music, customers say they'll still have an appetite for their favorite BBQ place.


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