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Jeff Ruby Lends A Hand In Bobby Mackey's Bid For Garth Brooks' 'Dive Bar' Tour

garth brooks
David Zalubowski
Garth Brooks at a news conference in Denver in June 2019 for "The Garth Brooks Stadium Tour." The Greater Cincinnati area is currently not a planned stop.

Northern Kentucky's Bobby Mackey's Music World, also known as "America's Honky Tonk," is wooing Garth Brooks. 

On Facebook, Brooks announced plans for a seven-date "Dive Bar Tour" at - what else? - so-called dive bars around the country to promote his new song with Blake Shelton, "Dive Bar." The tour kicks off July 15 at the Chicago bar Joe's on Weed Street, but the other dates and locations have yet to be announced. 

Owner Bobby Mackey is hoping his bar is one of them. "We've had it out there on social media ever since we heard about the tour coming together," Mackey says. "America's 'Dive Bar' tour needs America's Honky Tonk in Wilder, Kentucky. It's an appropriate place for him to be."

bobby mackey's
Credit Tabitha Kaylee Hawk / Flickr Creative Commons
Flickr Creative Commons

If Brooks were to accept, he would be one of the bigger names to come through the bar that has also welcomed the Travel Channel, thanks to its allegedly haunted past as the "Gateway to Hell." 

And Mackey may have a silver bullet: famed Cincinnati restauranteur Jeff Ruby. "I spoke with Jeff and Jeff called (Brooks') manager and told him that he couldn't find a better place," Mackey says, adding that "it's in the works between the record label and B105 here in Cincinnati." 

When pressed for details, Mackey replied, "It's not final, but we've got as good a chance as anybody."

Mackey isn't sure when he'll find out one way or the other, but in the meantime, he's got another big event to prepare for: the bar's 41st anniversary in September. "We're gonna have a great anniversary celebration and my new record America's Honky Tonk will be out by then," he says. "My passion for country music is why I'm there." 

Jennifer Merritt brings 20 years of "tra-digital" journalism experience to WVXU.