I only went to Shakespeare's once after it moved to 2620 Walnut Street, and I never ventured beyond the front section of the bar, so I had no idea how massive the space was until I met with Adam Ranes, who took it over after Shakespeare's moved out. This was back in April, just before Adam and his brother, Andrew, opened the spot as Casselman's Bar and Venue — using Adam's (and his father's) middle name for a moniker. Adam led me into the back, where I was floored by a room that looked a bit like an airplane hangar and accounted for three-quarters of the building's 9,000 square feet. He told me how the rounded ceiling still had its original wood, and how the space had been a distribution warehouse for the May Company in the '40s and '50s.
Although his crew was still working on the place, I could see that Casselman's had big potential as a music venue, since the back room can hold 700 people. And in the ensuing months, I popped in a few times, but I never managed to get there when a band was on the stage. I either caught DJs spinning or guys playing acoustic sets on a small stage in the front room, which can hold another 200 or so people.
So my first real test drive of Casselman's came on a recent Friday, when Cadillac Sky, a Texas-based band, ran through a high-charged set of bluegrass in front of a hundred or so people. It sounded pretty decent, if a bit boomy — which might have been because of the high, rounded ceilings. It was also tough to get an accurate read on the sound because they were all playing acoustic instruments. But there was no disguising the room's potential: Casselman's is a welcome addition to a neighborhood that already includes the Meadowlark (2701 Larimer Street), Larimer Lounge (2721 Larimer) and the Walnut Room (3131 Walnut Street). For now, Casselman's has live music on the weekends and its Thursday acoustic series, but a new talent-buying duo has plans to step up the music in a big way in the coming months.
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Casselman's Bar and Venue
Club scout: DJ Miss Audry has been spinning around these parts for thirteen years — and now she's hanging up her headphones to spend more time with the family business. But she's doing one more set on Saturday, October 24, at Funky Buddha (776 Broadway), with her friends Jamie Kent, DJ Rescue, Tom Hoch and Steve Synfull. Also on October 24, the Robusto Room (9535 Park Meadows Drive in Lone Tree) will host another installment of its monthly subURBAN parties with DJs boyhollow and Mada spinning electro, Brit-pop and mash-ups. The bar will offer $4 vodka and Red Bull shots, $3 John Daly (sweet tea and vodka) shots and Smith Optic giveaways.
On Friday, October 23, Tracks (3500 Walnut Street) is bringing in New York fashion icon Amanda Lepore, who will perform, screen her full-length music video for "Cotton Candy" and be part of a meet-and-greet. Sutra (1109 Lincoln Street) will get an early start on Halloween with its Angels vs. Devils Halloween pre-party on Tuesday, October 27, featuring DJs Chapl, Jesse James, Kanai and Matthew Filth; Hypnotiq girls will have $2 shots from 11:30 p.m. until 1 a.m., and $2 you-call-its will be available until 11 p.m.