Inside a new music venue on 585 North Ave., a pair of girls glide on a swing hung from the rafters. People sit on plush couches and pick from a tray with free candy lying on the bar. And as rock band Winston Audio simmers onstage, a bright red curtain emblazoned with the numbers 585 hangs behind it.
Since opening in late summer, this music venue has been called many things: the 585, the 585 venue and the 585 club. "We wanted it to be ambiguous," says co-owner Deke Spears, who adds that he's leaning toward the 585 Music Hall. Though the club just opened, it managed to draw more than 40 people on a Monday night. "I've got good bands. A lot of bands are helping to support the place. They're working hard to get folks out here. We're trying to accommodate everyone and make 'em feel like they're in a good environment," he says.
A solo musician himself, Spears runs the 585 with Steven Marchi and Matt Vetter (who plays guitar and piano for Novah). The three, who just met each other eight months ago, pooled their resources together to lease the brick warehouse. All of the money earned from shows goes back into maintaining it and paying rent. "If we make any money we spend it on the building, like buy paint," Spears says. "We built a sign. I don't know if you saw the sign on the top of the building? We built that out of a ramp we found when we got here." The large sign consists of the letters 585.
Some of the 585's most successful shows so far include Tim Brantley, Manchester Orchestra (which drew 200 people) and Crazy Anglos (which drew 350 people). "Everyone wants to come here and play. I'm booked into February," Spears says. The owners only sell soda and water at the bar, but are currently applying for a liquor license that will help attract bigger crowds and more money. "We just do all-ages shows," he says. "It's not about drinking into oblivion. It's about coming here and enjoying music and being part of a community."
Spears hopes the impending liquor license doesn't change the quirky, creative vibe that the 585 now enjoys. "I definitely don't want the scene to be about excessive use of alcohol. But at the same time, if we ever hope to make any money out of it as a business, then that's the route we have to go."
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