Over the years, the space next door to the Boulder Theater has housed different bars and restaurants, most recently Ghost BBQ and Sprits. But when that partnership between the venue and the restaurant expired, Z2 Entertainment, which operates the Boulder Theater and Fox Theatre, stepped in to create the Lounge.
“Over the years, it’s a been a space that’s had a bunch of different iterations,” says Jake Hiersteiner, general manager for Z2 Entertainment, “and we went back to the drawing board with it this time with the mindset of really tying it into the theater and bringing that experience from the theater into that space.”
Hiersteiner says the space was completely remodeled, “not structurally, but aesthetically,” the lighting was redone, new furniture was brought in, the display of the artwork and photographs by Boulder Theater house photographer Lisa Siciliano was updated, and everything was made “much more lounge-y and kind of conducive to a good hang.”
And part of making the spot a good hang is bringing live music into the sixty-person-capacity space, which will have no cover charge. The venue will showcase singer-songwriters, bluegrass acts, DJs and others. Hiersteiner says they’re open to everything and encourages bands to reach out to be booked.
“In Boulder, for a while, we’ve been hearing that people are looking for smaller spaces to play that kind of cater to the local demographic and local bands trying to come on board,” Hiersteiner says. “We see this space as the perfect place for us to do that and to be able to maintain contacts with bands that could potentially move into the Fox and then beyond.
“So our plan is to definitely tap local talent and give them an opportunity and a place to play with us. We want to be in at the ground level with any bands that are serious about what they do and any bands that are just into getting their art and their product in front of people. For instance, we might have a local band opening for a national touring act and that show ends early, maybe we swing that band into the Lounge and keep the party going.”
The Lounge, which opened in January, kicks off its live-music program tonight, March 20 with Strange Ranger. The spot is open from 5 to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and also on Boulder Theater show nights.
As far as food goes, the Lounge serves small plates, small sandwiches, charcuterie — “something that’s sustainable on our end,” Hiersteiner says. “But the draw is the atmosphere and the bar and the customer service that you would expect at the Boulder Theater.”