August 7, 2015: Only 36 hours after the cease and desist commerce order was levied, Shanty Town Pub has been approved to reopen by Jacksonville city inspectors. In an emotional note on Facebook, owner Ian Ranne thanked his patrons and promised to keep the pub the gathering place that it has become. He has also pledged to keep beer prices low (the pub is famous for its $2 a pint happy hour) and to use the Go Fund Me funds to improve the watering hole.
The news broke on the morning of Wednesday, August 5; sub-culture and neighborhood hangout Shanty Town Pub had been closed by the Fire Marshall for alleged violation to fire code. While the closure is only temporary, the dive bar has become such a intricate part of the culture in the Historic Springfield neighborhood of Jacksonville that it sent ripples throughout the community. For years the pub has been a neighborhood hub used to meet friends, host meetings or just relax with a cold pint of good beer.
The notification came via facebook from owner Ian Ranne and sparked multiple comments offering help and expressing dismay. A fellow bar owner, Shannon Willow of downtown Jacksonville’s Hourglass Pub said, “Hate to hear this. Shanty is Hourglass’s spirit animal. We love you. If I can help in any way please let me know!”
Ranne recounts his experience and emotions as he was being cited, “When I was sitting at the bar by myself… just me and the marshall and a beat cop, in uncomfortable silence for 2 hours, I was bored and I pulled out my phone and said [to myself], ‘You know Ian, you should make a big deal out of this on the internet…..’
According to Ranne in his facebook post, the Fire Marshall entered a cease and desist all commerce order until the bar proves occupancy is safe with affidavits from an architect and an electrician. The main problem cited by the Marshall, according to Ranne, was that there were more than 51 occupants of the building. In addition, apparently electrical upgrades are needed and, while likely to be costly, Ranne has said that he is hoping to have the bar open again by Monday, August 10. He has meetings planned with both an architect and electrician for Thursday, August 6.
In the mean time, a Go Fund Me account has been set up to help get Shanty back in the good graces of the powers that be. In less than two days more than $2,000 of the estimated $5,000 has been raised. The hopes are that the entire amount can be raised to defray the cost of reopening.
“Anything collected will go into building improvements, promise,” Ranne says of the Go Fund Me account. “I am not trying to “cash in” on this. I have 6 jobs already.”
In addition to the costs of upgrading Shanty, $780 in fines were levied against Ranne.
“Just gonna put on a collared shirt,” Ranne said. “…go into the office myself. …handle it and pay them their money.”
At the conclusion of his statement, Ranne expressed his thanks to his patrons.
“Again, thanks so much for caring ya’ll.” He said. “Its a bit overwhelming….”
To contribute to the Save Shanty Town Go Fund Me campaign, click the link below: