After running the Barkley Ballroom in downtown Frisco for more than five years, owners Todd Altschuler and Keegan Casey decided to take things to a new level. The 325-capacity Barkley Ballroom had its limitations — Altschuler says there was no green room, no real lobby, a bar in the middle of the dance floor, and it was hard to see the band unless you were about ten feet from the stage.
“We had a pretty large capacity for the mountains,” Altschuler says. “But it was a bar with horrible sight lines and it had a stage that we built ourselves. We saw the need for national touring acts to come through and have a place to play in the mountains in this area.”
When they found a lot on Frisco’s Main Street, two doors down from the Barkley, they decided to build a brand-new venue from the ground up and dub it 10 Mile Music Hall, which will celebrate its grand opening with two Halloween shows from Leftover Salmon.
“Everyone’s going to have good sight lines,” Altschuler says.
10 Mile Music Hall will hold around 750 people standing, but could also be configured for seated shows. Altschuler says the main floor of the venue could fit about 200 seats in rows and leave the balcony for general admission, which is what they’re doing for Louisiana-based blues guitarist Tab Benoit’s show on Sunday, November 11.
Altschuler says 10 Mile Music Hall, which is less than twenty minutes from six major ski areas, will have a similar intimate feel to the Sheridan Opera House in Telluride and the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. The venue will also have a four-camera live-stream system that bands can use to stream gigs via TourGigs, and a drink-ordering app that texts patrons when their drinks are ready so they can pick them up at a separate section of the bar.
While Altschuler says concert programming will slow down in the summer because of a number of free concert series in nearby mountain towns like Dillon, Vail and Breckenridge, 10 Mile, which has a large rooftop deck overlooking the mountains, will be a wedding venue, as well. Moe’s Original Bar B Que will also set up shop and serve food not just on concert nights, but on a weekly basis. The rooftop deck can seat seventy people, while the room upstairs can seat another seventy. Altschuler says the upstairs area will be more of a bar atmosphere with Moe’s food.
10 Mile Music Hall's soft opening with country-blues act Hymn for Her on October 26 and dubstep DJ Minnesota on October 27 will be followed by a two-night grand-opening celebration on October 30 and 31. The venue's lineup so far includes Perpetual Groove, Kung Fu, Tab Benoit and Aqueous in November, while the Infamous Stringdusters will play two pre-New Year's Eve shows on December 28 and December 29, and Big Sam's Funky Nation will play on New Year's Eve.