Hagar Finished With Fresno

Sammy Hagar has stripped his name from the newest Cabo Wabo Cantina following “existing issues” between the rocker and the developer of the financially troubled entertainment center in Fresno, Calif., of which the club was a cornerstone.

The news comes just a month after the rocker played a free gig to 1,000 fans to help promote the Fresno venue – the third nightclub opened by Hagar.

Photo: Alan M. Poulin / AlanPoulinPhoto.com
The Pageant, St. Louis, Mo.

Fresno’s Cabo opened Aug. 29.

“This is a really unfortunate situation,” Hagar said in a statement. “I developed the Cabo Wabo Cantina concept as a place for everyone in the community to come together and have a great time with exceptional food, drinks and music.

“Contrary to comments from other parties inferring otherwise, the license has been terminated and the location will no longer be a Cabo Wabo come 2009. I have always stood for providing an exceptional experience for my fans and associating myself with like-minded business partners. If the owners of the current license in Fresno intend to keep the location open … , it will not be under the Cabo Wabo brand.”

Hagar entered into a licensing agreement with developer Milt Barbis’ Fresno Rock Taco LLC, which owns and operates the venue, Dec. 7. 2006.

The city-backed Granite Park development was to bring bars, restaurants and sports and recreation facilities. A few restaurants opened but the sports and recreation component has since unraveled, with millions in debt and rumors abound of a possible foreclosure for the 420-acre development.

Facing the “existing issues” that have not been resolved, the Hagar statement said he had no choice but to “take action to end his relationship with Fresno Rock Taco.”

Barbis declined to expand on why the Hagar agreement had faltered, the Fresno Bee reported.

“I know everybody wants it to be juicy, but there’s nothing juicy here,” Barbis said. “Sometimes partnerships don’t work out. I wish Sammy and Cabo Wabo the best in the future. It’s a wonderful brand, I’m just not sure it was right for Fresno. It’s a great brand for a tourist destination.”

However, he did say the club will continue with a House Of Blues-type concept and new investors.

“It’s going to be the exact same great venue,” he told the paper. “We’re still bringing in the same acts as before. We’ll just be bringing in big-name concerts. It’s going to be the fantastic place it always has been.”