We all grasp how difficult it is to bring eateries and bars to fruition, then to grow and maintain them. But add to this the challenge of nurturing “pub theater,” and one begins to understand the scale of Doug Schutte’s achievement with The Bard’s Town, his playhouse and restaurant.

Schutte, who died unexpectedly earlier this week, had recently assumed yet another Herculean task with the impending transfer of The Bard’s Town from its original Bardstown Road to a new location in the Meriwether neighborhood.

Social media tributes and remembrances from patrons and performers testify to Schutte’s legacy. Here are just three:

“Running a Shakespeare-themed restaurant and theater in Kentucky seems like something that would have closed halfway through opening day but he kept it going.”

“Doug Schutte treated his circle like family. By circle, I mean a very large circle….. a community! He loved so many and it shows how much they loved him in return.”

“Just when he was about to embark on the second act of The Bard’s Town, his life was tragically cut short. There’s almost a Shakespearean quality to this story that I can’t help but feel Doug would have appreciated.”

I learned of Doug Schutte’s passing from my friend and colleague Kevin Gibson, who has penned this fine blog post.

Remembering Doug Schutte and His Bard’s Town Passion

I was saddened and a little shocked when I learned Thursday night of Doug Schutte’s passing. The actor/director/playwright/venue owner was the driving force behind The Bard’s Town, the long-time Bardstown Road playhouse and restaurant — or as Doug phrased it, “pub theater.”

In 2013, Kevin interviewed Schutte for a cover story at LEO Weekly: To thine own self be true.”

Schutte is one of those guys you can look in the eye and just tell his brain never stops. Those mounds of journals didn’t happen by accident. This is a guy whose endless energy and passion has helped him not simply follow a life’s path but, rather, blaze a trail.

The Bard’s Town leaves Bardstown (Road) for new digs in Meriwether

Photo credit: Kevin Gibson (from 2013).