Sunday, September 30, 2001

Country western club spent time as a casino

By Gene Franzen
Enquirer Contributor

        WILDER — Bobby Mackey's Music World is a boot-scootin', bull-ridin', honky-tonkin' country western bar.

        During the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, it was a crap-shootin', blackjack-playin', roulette-wheelin' casino.

[photo] From its days as a slaughterhouse in the 1800s, then a casino in the '30s, 40's and '50s, Bobby Mackey's Music World in Wilder, Ky., has evolved into a lively country-western bar.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
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        The building, located at 44 Licking Pike, was built in 1850 and originally served as a slaughterhouse and meatpacking operation.

        In the early 1940s it was operated as Buck Brady's Primrose Club and attracted many customers from Newport's Merchant's Club and Glen Schmidt's Playtorium.

        Merchant's Club owner Red Masterson advised Brady to consider taking early retirement and Buck answered with a blast from a double-barreled shotgun.

        Masterson survived but refused to identify Brady, explaining, “I'll handle this in my own way.”

        Shortly thereafter, Brady sold his Primrose Club to the Cleveland Syndicate.

        They renamed it the Latin Quarter and it flourished, along with other Northern Kentucky casinos, until 1961 when Sheriff George Ratterman and the Committee of 500 began the drive to rid Campbell County of organized crime.

        After the Latin Quarter closed, several businesses moved in and out of the location.

        One, the rough-and-tumble Hard Rock Cafe, opened in 1970 but was shut down in 1977 after several shootings.

        In 1978, the club reopened as Bobby Mackey's Music World.

        Today, 23 years later, cowboys and cowgirls are still honky tonkin' and bull ridin' every weekend.

       Now and Then, a look at historic places in Northern Kentucky, runs Sundays. If there is a place you would like to see featured, call 578-5555.

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