Carrollton Station owner says "goodbye" with two free shows_lowres

Alexis Marceaux and Sam Craft

Alexis Marceaux and Sam Craft

"Effective 1/1/13," writes Carrollton Station owner Eric Orlando, who hands the bar keys to its new owners on New Year's Day. "After all this time we find ourselves at the end of the road. ... It's been a great and unprecedented run and I couldn't be prouder of all that we've accomplished. And when I say WE, I mean everyone; myself, the staff, musicians, comedians, and most importantly, the customers."

Before Orlando takes his bow, the bar hosts a free two-night "farewell" concert, kicking off 9 p.m. tonight with a singer-songwriter showcase highlighting the bar's brief history of regular performers: Marc Belloni, Kelcy Mae, Cortland Burke, Andrew Duhon, Pony Space, DC Harbold, Mark Adam Miller, Pete Winkler, Alexis Marceaux & Sam Craft (pictured), and Amanda Walker.

At 9 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 29), The Blackened Blues Band will close out the weekend.

The bar first opened in 1980 in the same location, across the street from the streetcar stronghold (or "streetcar barn”) Carrollton Transit Station at Willow and Dublin streets, a block from Carrollton Avenue. Since 2002, Orlando has owned the venue, where he welcomed singer-songwriter and open-mic nights and rock bands, as well as a Wednesday night stand-up comedy open mic ("You Think You're Funny?") that has proved to be a go-to place to see stand-up comedy in New Orleans. (The bar also recently said farewell to popular local comic and longtime open-mic host Scotland Green, who moved to New York City.)

The bar's programming has included Susan Cowsill's "Covered in Vinyl" series, Woodenhead guitarist Jimmy Robinson, and recently, the monthly Plus One songwriter series. Its near-nightly events - from pub trivia to comics Cassidy and Mickey Henehan to Fred LeBlanc's Christmas parties to indie rock to local rock icons and beyond - aren't expected to get dropped from the schedule with the change in ownership.