Bar finds home in Waterloo

After closing last year, a piece of The Frequency, a popular Madison music venue, found a new home at The Mode in Waterloo. Owner Jeff Deegan has many good memories of The Frequency, which prompted him to purchase two sections of the bar. He likes the fact a part of the Madison venue still lives on in a performance space.

Jeff Deegan has many good memories of The Frequency, a downtown Madison music venue that played host to numerous bands during its 10 years of operation. Some of the bands he played in even found a spot on the venue’s stage.

The Frequency closed its doors June 30, 2018, but a part of its legacy remains in use as its sticker-covered bar found a home at The Mode Theater in Waterloo.

Darwin Sampson, the former owner of The Frequency, posted in December 2018 that he wanted to get rid the bar as it was taking up storage space. Deegan contacted Sampson to inquire about purchasing the bar.

“He gave me a price that was way out of my range at the time,” Deegan said.

Four months later, Sampson messaged The Mode owner with a much lower purchase price for the majority of the bar.

Roughly six feet of The Frequency’s bar is set up in the lobby of the Waterloo performance venue where it continues to serve as a place to order drinks. Another seven feet of the bar is attached to the wall as a piece of art in the performance space. Deegan had initially intended to cut the larger section into pub tables but opted not to as it would have cut through too many of the stickers.

“I loved the venue, it was a great place to play and a great place to see shows. It was distressing when he (Sampson) was closing it but at least it can live on in a music venue and still serve as a bar,” Deegan said.

He points out the stickers affixed to the bar of bands he enjoys listening to – The American Dead (who have actually played at The Mode), The Gusto, Pears, The Falcon and The Dwarves.

“Unfortunately, none of my bands ever made it on here,” Deegan said.

The Mode’s owner isn’t the only person with nostalgia for the now-closed Madison music venue; he said some bands have decided to play at the Waterloo location to encounter the Frequency’s bar again.

“They want to check out the memories,” Deegan said.

During the first show the bar was in place, people came to purchase a drink from the Frequency’s old bar and pointed out the stickers of bands they had once seen at the previous venue.

Stickers are covered by a layer of resin, multiple layers on top of each other to create a mishmash of bands representing local to international music.

While stickers make up most of the content under the resin coating, there are a few other pieces of memorabilia like a bumper sticker for The Onion and a few dollar bills.

“People are happy to know the bar is being used at another music venue and not just sitting at someone’s house,” Deegan said. “People can still come and visit it.”

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