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Owl Acoustic Lounge to soar into new nest with community Kickstarter support

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A phoenix isn’t the only bird that can rise from the ashes. After a tough 2020, In 2021 The Owl Acoustic Lounge plans to fly higher and faster into a new location out of the ashes of the Covid pandemic, which has devastated the arts and entertainment industry and everybody who depends on it and enjoys being part of it.Steve Foord in his element — on stage. Photo by Richard Amery


 Owl Acoustic Lounge co-owner Steve Foord is overwhelmed by the community response to a super successful  Kickstarter campaign launched Dec. 16 which, in less than 24 hours, doubled the $7,500 goal they set to build a beautiful new stage in the Owl Acoustic Lounge’s new nest at 606 3rd Ave South, the former home of the More For Less Thrift Store.
“It’s a great location with the SAAG right across the street. Then we looked inside it and fell in love with it. We decided to invest in ourselves,” said Owl Acoustic Lounge co-owner Steve Foord said, adding they decided to launch the Kickstarter campaign to gauge public interest.


 As of this writing, 229 backers raised $15,113 on the Kickstarter campaign, effectively doubling the $7,500 they earmarked for the new stage, which will feature the names of everyone who contributed to the campaign which was one of the perks you can bid on. Foord noted there are over 450 names that have to be added to the stage, so he has to figure out the logistics of how to do that that. The rest will be put towards a new bar and other features of the venue.


“It’s been crazy. We really didn’t expect this. It really caught us off guard,” he said, adding they will leave the Kickstarter campaign going for the remaining 28 days. He said moving will be a challenge, but it is important to maintain the Owl’s “Keep it Weird” character.


“It’s wonderful to have some good news and it has been exciting to see the community get behind  this,” Foord said.
 “This pandemic is not going to last for ever and when it ends, live music will be back and we intend to be there,” he said.
“We’re in favour of the 3rd Ave revitalization and we’re excited to be part of it,” Foord enthused, adding they were already considering a move, as working on a diminished capacity to meet new social distancing regulations  was challenging. So they started considering a move.

“ We took some time to plan and we decided to bet on ourselves. We’ve been here for little over 10 years, so we looked at some new locations and said “Let’s go for it,” Foord said.

“Then one day Mel (Dominguez, co-owner) was biking past this location so we decided to take a peek,” he said, adding they had already taken a peek at a couple other locations, so they started planning.
“It’s really been overwhelming and humbling to have the community get behind this. This Kickstarter campaign allows us to reach a lot of our goals a lot faster than we expected,” he said, adding they already invested a lot of their own money into the move including buying new kitchen equipment.

 


As in the old nest, local artists will be featured on the walls and there will be live music.
“ It is a little bit of a challenge. But we want to keep the original character of the Owl. And we love this location (411 3rd Ave South), it has character. But it is difficult to socially distance and our first priority in this pandemic has been the safety of the community. We don’t want anyone getting sick,” he said, adding they just got the building permits from the city to renovate the new nest, so they plan to start work soon.


As planned, the Owl’s new roost will have a capacity of 150 people (The old location was 92), a big outdoor patio, the big stage which will allow bigger shows, new draft beer taps and new signage.
“We’ve told people to keep an eye out for it,” he said, adding a new sign designed by local artists Lindsay Makarto and painted by Hailey Platz, who designed the most recent sign.


“It’s very eye-catching. We still have people coming in who tell us they didn’t know we were here and we’ve been here for 10 years,” he said, adding the Owl will be releasing more details of the move and the new design in the coming weeks.


 Local musician and Owl regular Avery Friesen is designing the stage.
 The priority is building a kitchen in a building that has never had one before.
“We’d like to have pick up and delivery early in 2021,” he said, adding pick up and delivery at the old location will continue until the end of December. If social distancing and health restrictions are lifted,  Foord hopes  live music will be good to go by April.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Friday, 18 December 2020 15:45 )  
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