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The Comet’s dollar bills missing in overnight break-in

Gone (Image: CHS with permission)

Gone (Image: CHS with permission)

A signature remnant of the old Comet Tavern’s past was removed overnight in what the tavern’s new owners say was a brazen burglary at the 10th/Pike bar.

An email sent Wednesday morning by Dave Meinert and Jason Lajeunesse details an overnight break-in through a busted window in which someone removed the dozens of dollar bills stuck to the bar’s ceiling.

“It’s with great sadness that we are writing to report the the comet was broken into last night,” the bar’s new owners wrote. “The only thing stolen, but maybe the most important remnants of [its] past, were the dollar bills on the ceiling.”

The Lost Lake partners are taking over the old bar space after financial troubles forced previous owner Brian Balodis to shutter the longtime watering hole.

Meinert and Lajeunesse are working to reopen the tavern in 2014 and the space is currently undergoing a restoration and overhaul that includes gutting a significant amount of moisture damage while leaving the main bones and structure of the space intact.

The dollar bill heist might be more of a spiritual blow than any real loss of historical value. Regulars say the bills were removed periodically and donated to a nonprofit — though a few choice artifacts of posterity were likely lost in the burglary.

The partners say police are currently investigating the break-in and that video surveillance of the area is being reviewed to identify any possible suspects. “We are combing through our [videos] today in hopes of catching a glimpse of the thieves/thief,” they write.

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12 thoughts on “The Comet’s dollar bills missing in overnight break-in

  1. OMG….. from my journal entry with video:
    Read today’s story at Justin Carder’s Capitol Hill Blog. Is this not the sleaziest thing you ever heard of? Anyway I am so glad I captured the amazing bathroom art last year; the impromptu interview last week with my iPhone was cool too….[SNIP]

    • It’s does kind of smell like an inside job but I won’t pass judgment on that…. any signs of a break in? And how could any random thief know how to get in and get ladders to get the money from the ceiling…. the plot thickens. I maintain my posture as noted in conjunction with the words of Al Jourgensen at the end of the video, ahem.

      • But OTOH having been falsely accused of a crime in the past that was completely bogus I appreciate the value in not prejudging anything or anyone.

  2. Looks like an inside job. The new owners probably wanted to replace the ceiling, but worried about backlash of removing the ceiling with the dollars attached, they staged a robbery which now allows them to replace it without any backlash.

    • It think that the new owners staging a break in to avoid backlash is a bit of a stretch. As well as Baldois (or whatever his name is) breaking in to take them. What would they have to gain by staging a break-in? If they were truly worried about backlash for painting the ceiling a more unified and adult response would be to have a dollar-throwing party at their opening to put some back up.
      The SLOG says a drunk ex-employee called and said something about the Comet and ‘taking what’s theirs’ right before this happened. A far more logical conclusion is that an employee, regular or even some of the HC guys broke in and took them either because they felt they were owed something or in a childish attempt to ‘preserve’ the spirit of the place.

      • And yet speculating that it is the current owner or the older one is somehow totally acceptable! Even with the drunk phone call threatening to ‘take what’s theirs’?
        I see that it’s totally okay to drag people through the mud who are trying to fix the business but not okay to do the same to some of the people who helped bring it down in the first place. Way to be a hypocrite.

      • And for the record: I’ve been to the Comet, sat at the bar with a group of 6-7 regulars for HOURS, watched them get trashed and never saw anyone pay for shit. You want to point fingers at people for The Comet being shut down then you need to add them to the list because they certainly helped. That shit isn’t free.
        Just because they’re your friends doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of stupid, drunken behavior or entitlement any less that the ‘wicked, horrible’ business owners everyone in this town likes to blame for everything.

        I’m just coming up with ideas based off the information given and unfortunately an inside job looks like it MAY be a POSSIBILITY. I don’t see anyone jumping down the throats of those thinking the owners did it despite that making no sense at all.

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