By Annie Reuter
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After three months of renovations, a cozy East Village venue known for intimate musical performances will reopen Tuesday for a week of diverse shows.
A New York staple since 1998, the venue serves more than 100,000 audience members annually.
The recent reconstruction allows a more enjoyable experience with added seating and better sight lines to accommodate each patron, explained Shanta Thake and Kevin Abbott, Director and Managing Director of Joe’s Pub.
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“We really listened [to the customers] and made sure that the sight lines were perfect for every single seat in the house. We moved the majority of the service outside of the room now so you don’t hear the noise from the drink making. It was difficult to see menus, so we addressed that,” Abbott said.
A historic building with high ceilings and columns, the intimacy of the venue remained untouched.
“We’re blessed with the room. We’re in a landmark building where the space itself is incredibly beautiful. Even with the renovations that we’ve done, it’s still a small, intimate room and we would never want to lose that,” he concluded.
A highlight of the venue makeover is its expansive programming, and this week is no exception. The popular Country Music Association Songwriter Series is returning to Joe’s Pub Thursday and Friday evening.
“We’re constantly looking at our schedule and trying to figure out what can we add to the mix that keeps our diversity and keeps the diversity of our audiences coming through the door. That’s a huge part of our mission, really representing the diversity of New York City,” Thake said.
Abbott explained that their partnership with CMA began six years ago when the CMA Awards were hosted in New York.
“Every single time we put those shows on sale, that day they sell out. It’s that immediate because there is no outlet for country music fans [in New York]. Fortunately, the CMA’s are amazing and they bring an incredible level of talent to every single show,” Abbott said.
After three months, the renovations are complete and both Abbott and Thake hope concertgoers have a richer experience.
“We’ve worked very hard for people to walk into the room and still feel like you’re at Joe’s Pub,” Abbott said. “The room looks stunning and the programming is as great as it has always been. I think that people are really going to be happy with the results.”
Annie Reuter is a freelance writer and blogger. She is the founder of YouSingIWrite.com.