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Grateful for the Griffin’s new groove

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The Study Band was the first resident group to grace the Griffin in 2009.
Photo: Laura Davis

In 2009 we saw the Griffin, already one of Downtown’s hot spots, turn up the heat by welcoming bands into its intimate back room. While having hosted acoustic sets at random in the past, the decision to fully embrace the bar’s potential as a musician’s haven, offering local bands a platform every Wednesday night, just makes us warm up to our favorite watering hole even more.

After a recent weekday stop to catch up on current resident band The Rooks and the solo performance of Halloween Town’s Ryan Pardey, we counted down the ways we are grateful for the new venue.

5. Consistency: With the Griffin having it’s own built-in crowd, combined with the usual music fan pull, every Wednesday night performance has a good showing. Unlike other Downtown venues that have to pull teeth and promote to the death to get a turnout on a weekday, the Griffin keeps bands motivated to perform with the assurance they won’t be playing to only the applause of the usual groupies — the best buddy and the girlfriend.

The Rooks are the current band to reside at the Griffin every Wednesday night.

The Rooks are the current band to reside at the Griffin every Wednesday night.

4. $1 beers: From 10 to 11p.m. — a happy hour at an actual hour when you’re out and about — PBR never tasted so good.

3. Two bands: With a short list of bands on the lineup (does two even qualify as a list?) the bands always start on time and end at a decent hour, so you don’t have to commit to an all-nighter on the weekday hump when you still have to be in work mode. Sometimes short is sweet.

2. Two rooms: The bar is separated into a front and back area, allowing patrons the choice of sitting by the fire for an involved conversation in the first or wandering into the second to rock out. Added benefit: if you run into your ex in one room, there’s still a quick escape route without having to evacuate the bar.

1. Comfort: We’re not talking about just the atmosphere, although we’re fans of that, too. There are couches to sit on while enjoying the music so you aren’t forced to relieve your feet via leaning against a wall. And guess what? These couches are clean! Not reminiscent of the Double Down, where the floors are quite possibly more sanitary. The bathrooms are clean, too (for a bar)! After encountering patrons at the neighboring Beauty Bar who will run next door in order to relieve themselves at the Griffin rather than brave the BB stalls, it’s nice to pee in the same place you’ve committed to watching a show. Of course, seat covers are still highly recommended.

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