Star Tribune file photo

Star Tribune file photo

Little fits of panic went up around First Avenue over this past busy weekend, as patrons walked up to the club and noticed something conspicuously missing: All the stars on the outside of the venue had been painted over. Have no fear, you faithful rock mavens, they will return. The new paint job is simply part of an overall construction and refurbishment plan at the downtown landmark, which is also including the opening of the Depot bar/restaurant next door to the Entry and a drastically needed women's restroom in the Entry.

First Ave's blog is filling up with suggestions for which bands/people should have their names inside the stars when they're painted back on the walls. The number of stars will be trimmed in the end -- from about 530 to about 400 -- but First Ave staff is promising the cuts won't be too painful, and in fact could be beneficial. As was stated in an open letter from the staff, "Hopefully you can part with the Menudo star in order for someone like Doomtree to possibly get a star." I can see a few names just in the above photo of Conrad's ass that merit weeding out. Sorry, Billy Idol, Tesla and Babyface (I'll hold off on suggesting Anthrax since I actually believe they were the first band I saw there, along with Metal Church, when I was about 14 or 15; yes, I was cooler then).

Anyway, leaving your own personal firsts aside, which names would you stick up for to keep or earn a First Ave star? Beyond the obvious (like the people suggesting Prince on the First Ave blog). 

As for the Depot, replacing the former UnBank site, the garage-door entrance to the new burger-joint/watering-hole was opened up on Saturday night, and it looked like a surprisingly swank if rather nondescript new hangout, with ample giant flat-screen TVs and lots of cocktail tables with wood bar stools. The place is obviously geared more toward Target Field goers. Still, it should also be as good a place as any down there to stop off before a rock show. Whoever winds up hanging there, look at it this way: Money earned at the Depot is more or less money saved on concert tickets and other things First Ave has to charge for next door.

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