Daily Egyptian

Levels nightclub closed indefinitely, owner says

People wait to enter the Lil Wayne concert April 20, 2015, outside Levels nightclub in Carbondale. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

People wait to enter the Lil Wayne concert April 20, 2015, outside Levels nightclub in Carbondale. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

By Daily Egyptian staff

Levels nightclub closed its doors indefinitely Saturday, its owner said.

Greg Knoob, whose son Austin took over the business last December, said Monday his worsening chronic illness prevents him from continuing to run the business.

The venue on East Grand Avenue opened as a club in 1985. Knoob bought the popular college hangout in 2005.

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Although Knoob is disheartened to see people lose their jobs, he said he was able to bring on 14 of about two dozen Levels employees to work at Stix Bar & Billiards at 517 S. Illinois Ave. — which he has owned since 2007 — and Saluki Bar, which is owned by his son. He said about 90 percent of his employees are SIU students.

Saluki Bar will remain open, Knoob said.

Knoob said his wife, Elizabeth, and Stix manager Sean Doherty are taking over Stix for the time being.

Meanwhile, Knoob will remain president of the corporation Stix Bar LLC.

Knoob hopes to re-open the club, but for now, it’s time to get healthy again, he said.

“I’m hoping I can make a quick recovery,” he said. “It might be a year — who knows.”

He said he didn’t plan on Saturday being the last day of operation for Levels, but because of a worsening health coupled with working more than 80 hours a week, he decided it was the best option.

Part of the decision to close Levels and keep Stix open had to do with the number of nights each was in operation. Stix is open five days a week compared to Levels’ two nights a week. Stix also brings in much more traffic while keeping more people employed, Knoob said.

To celebrate almost a year of record-breaking attendance and sales, Knoob said he is buying drinks for everyone who comes to Stix on Monday night. He said this is not related to an accident that occurred Friday night at Stix when an object hit a bar-goer, causing an injury to her head. Knoob said his insurance company is taking appropriate actions.

In the meantime, Knoob hopes for a speedy recovery for the woman and himself.

“It’s been an unbelievable last 10 months,” he said. “It’s a nice way to go out.”

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