To the editors:

Who voted in the Pollstar poll for best national nightclub? Had to be industry bigwigs, not real people. My husband, friends and I used to enjoy the Cubby Bear like no other club around–until Brad Altman took over [Culture Club, January 31]. It used to be a comfortable place to hang out, play pool and see favorite local and national alternative acts. We went there regularly for years and it certainly looked like a successful business to me. It seemed to have quite a good reputation among celebrities then, too; we played pool with various members of REM in the pre-Brad days (or nights).

We recently went to the Cubby Bear for a free reggae night and the club was so overpacked I became ill. The clientele seemed much more interested in picking up members of the opposite sex than in listening to a great band. In the years since Mr. Altman has taken over the club, the place has lost its character and its soul. Gone is the sense of community. The Cubby Bear was a great place where you always knew you’d see a familiar face on any Friday or Saturday night. Now, it’s just another generic tourist trap for suburbanites or out-of-town college students who think they’re getting a piece of the real Chicago club scene.

My vote for best nightclub in the country? The 40 Watt Club in Athens, Georgia. Best club in Chicago? Cabaret Metro–hands down!

Lori Malinski

N. Moody

PS: Brad Altman is a poor sportsman, too. He threw a temper tantrum and a pool cue once when my husband beat him at billiards.