click to enlarge Nat Stein DL²’s slogan scrawled nearby: “Be funny or die trying.” No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. The Dab Lounge is now where the Family Joint used to be, just west of the Bijou Street bridge. That might not mean much to most people, but for the often dramatic cannabis club scene, it’s a development that’s already the butt of savage jokes, seeing as this is the second time the Dab Lounge has followed in the Family Joint’s footsteps.
First, some tangled history: The owners of the recently closed Family Joint, Travis Perkins and Stephanie Durr, used to run a club called 420 Speakeasy at 1532 N. Circle Drive. The club’s members included Dan Goodman, who became a vendor at the club, selling dab mats to patrons. When Perkins left 420 Speakeasy, saying he “didn’t see eye to eye with [his] business partners” (who also happen to be the landlords, according to property and business records), Goodman, then a night manager, bought it. That’s when it became the Dab Lounge — summer of 2015.
The change in ownership brought with it a change in vibe. Goodman, a die-hard comedy fan from New York, bought some arcade games for the place, started booking comedy shows and hosting regular video game tournaments. “We wanted to weed out any seedy element … make a place for people to laugh,” Goodman told the Indy’s Griffin Swartzell at the time. Ben Verbeck, now general manager for the Dab Lounge, says that when Perkins left 420 Speakeasy, he took a bunch of Goodman’s dabbing gear with him. Perkins denies that.
Soon after, Perkins and Durr, then a couple, opened a new club at 125 N. Spruce St. That club, the Family Joint, was Grateful Dead-themed, replete with live music, yoga classes and