Rich Howells

Heil’s Place in Scranton closes this week after 43 years; Village Idiots play one last Wednesday

Heil’s Place in Scranton closes this week after 43 years; Village Idiots play one last Wednesday
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After 43 years, the legendary Heil’s Place in East Scranton is closing its doors this week, so what better way to say goodbye than with one last Wednesday night jam with the Village Idiots?

Opened on Aug. 15, 1973, the Hill Section bar and restaurant owned by John Heil, Sr., who is retiring this year at age 70, has not only been a staple watering hole for decades, but an important part of the local music scene, hosting many memorable shows with bands of all kinds over the years. Recently, the live entertainment has become less frequent, but the Village Idiots have kept up their tradition of playing every Wednesday from 11 p.m.-2 a.m. over the years (with the exception of the past year or so) and will do so again tomorrow night.

Since 1989, the Idiots have performed their own improvisational take on psychedelic, roots, and blues rock tunes by Grateful Dead and other acts associated with the iconic jam band, though Jan. 4 will likely be a standout night.

“This is the last week Heil’s Place will be open. 43 years was a good run. I’m thankful for all the friends I’ve made and appreciate everyone who has supported my family over the years,” John Heil, Jr., posted publicly on Facebook this morning. “I unfortunately won’t be in PA this week, but if you are, you should stop in for one last memory.”

The building (1002 Wheeler Ave., Scranton) has been listed for sale through Nasser Real Estate for $500,000. The sale to a potential buyer is currently pending, according to a Nasser realtor.

The bar’s last day open will be Saturday, Jan. 7. For more information on the Village Idiots show, see the Facebook event page.

  • Chris

    It looks like all John’s bad debt finally caught up with him. Also, letting your kids run the bar was the most idiotic thing you could have done. I watched as John Jr. gave away free drinks, shots, repeatedly but at least you’d get a drink. When Lauren was there she’d sit in the chair and read a book paying no attention whatsoever to the customers. Heil’s was a cool place throughout the 80’s & 90’s but for the last 10 years or so it became a complete shithole. Even Karl left…….

    • findingclues4u

      Jesus man, sour grapes. The place meant a lot to a lot of people, but I appreciate you pointing out all the negative like poor business decisions and the actions of his young children who are now in their 30’s. Shithole or not, try adding some positivity to your life. Or at least think about the good memories you may have had somewhere regardless of the owners mistakes.

      • Chris

        For the record – John Sr and his daughter Lauren owe me over $1,500 that they’ve refused to pay for over 2 years now. I’ll say what I want

    • JohnnyRockett

      Typical dickhead post.

  • luvthesea89

    Wow! I could spend a full day writing about the memories in this building! Not only did we frequent Heils throughout the years from the beginning of John’s reign as owner, but also spent many, many great times there when it was Magnotta’s. Childhood memories I’ll always cherish. The Magnotta home was my second home and Kathleen used to make the BEST meatballs EVER!!!! Nick taking Jen and I to the “wholesale block”, going to Lake Genero, I could go on and on. My parents patronized the bar/restaurant every weekend with a whole gang of their friends….This is not just a closing of a bar but an end to two very special era’s. <3