Music Café tents bring a circus to Lower Main
January 19, 2009
Meghan McComas, manager of Prime Steak House, had trouble standing still to answer questions Thursday afternoon. Once in the middle of an answer she turned to co-worker Ashley Pyne to finish it for her.
The Prime Steak House is the green room for performers in the ASCAP Music Café on lower Main Street. Simultaneous with the end of performances each day, the restaurant opens for dinner. McComas is counting on being busy this weekend.
Pete Carmody, an employee at Banhof Sports, had plenty of time to answer questions standing at his counter watching the crews set up the big tent in the middle of Main Street. That’s because nobody was on The Town Lift that afternoon. People were carrying extension cords, not skis.
"It’s been fun people-watching," he said looking across 7th at crews setting up a pop art exhibit in the Stanfield Gallery and pushing wheeled crates into the Music Café tent.
Taking advantage of the open slopes during the Sundance Film Festival is one of the town’s best-kept secrets, and more of the film people are realizing that, said Greg Fleming at Destination Sports.
But the people who hope to benefit from the moving of the Music Café from The Star Bar to below 7th Street are those in the Shops at The Village on Main.
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Dani Doolan of Doolan’s is one of them.
"We’re getting good foot traffic from the workers and the people looking at what’s going on. I’m excited about it," she said.
Lunatic Fringe salon employee Karina Brown said they’re counting on walk-ins this week. Many of their regular clients set appointments early, planning to stay away from Main during the festival.
She said co-workers are doing their best to pass out cards and invite people in to get a trim or a blow-drying.
Pyne said she loves the new venue. A VIP tent has been near the lift for the past several years, so lower Main has never been dull during Sundance, but Pyne expects the Music Café to be really cool.
Jen Schumacher of the Coda Gallery said she hopes she’ll be able to hear the music. Her artists are always excited for Sundance and always ask if they can bring in more pieces.
Fleming is worried about his customers with the street closed by the big tent. Parking on Main has never been easy, but carrying ski gear long distances is harder.
All Sports Eyewear owner Marty Shattuck is just hoping the closure will bring people out.
"It has potential to be a lot of fun and be like the Olympics with people milling around," he said.
Like the Winter Games, Destination Sports employee Stephanie Bray, working next to the My Space Café, said she’s having fun, but is glad it’s temporary.
"You want a piece of the pie, but you wouldn’t be able to handle it all year," she said.
Music Café producer Pamela Dore Alford with Peak Productions said the Shops at The Village have been a huge asset to her project and expects this year’s new configuration to be an asset for them.
She loves being right in the middle of Main Street and said the stores have been great places to get warm and order food and drink. "It’s a great location to have this type of venue," she said.