Want to know the dirt on a club owner? Ask another club owner in the same town. Want the dirtiest dirt you can find? Ask a new club owner about the place’s former owner.
But this doesn’t seem to work when it comes to Jack and Lesley Groetsch.
“These are genuine and honest people,” raves Howie Kaplan, who now owns the Howlin’ Wolf. “They are the real deal.”
While a couple of the nearly 100 postings at theorangepeel.net since late August are grumblings about greedy out-of-towners coming in to rake the locals for cash, it appears that the Groetsches are actually — gasp! — genuinely nice people.
Local rumor to the contrary, says Lesley Groetsch, nobody got rich off the sale of the Howlin’ Wolf, the Groetsches’ famous former club in New Orleans.
“We made enough to seed another project,” she adds. “This is not a high-profit-margin business; you can make the same type of money opening a snowball stand.”
The Groetsches had sought a buyer who would treat their baby well, says Lesley. Kaplan formerly owned the Rock ‘n’ Bock club just outside New Orleans, about 10 blocks from the Wolf’s original location in Metairie, La.’s famed Fat City.
Still, you’d think the backbiting would have started by now. But no, says Kaplan: The Groetsches’ reputation in New Orleans remains “spectacular.”