The space, formerly the site of boozy, rowdy college hangout Sargent Preston's, had been previously used for hosting beer-pong tournaments. It's in the process of being cleaned up and transformed into an intimate cabaret-style venue similar in approach to O'Reilly's other ventures, the Aster Cafe on St. Anthony Main and the 318 Cafe in Excelsior.
The new venue has a separate entrance, though O'Reilly anticipates that most shows will be all ages and free, giving patrons the opportunity to wander between the music room and the rest of the bar. Despite being attached to Republic, however, he says he's looking forward to developing it as its own entity. O'Reilly says the new space will be called Aux 1 (or possibly Aux One, he hadn't decided on the spelling yet), a charmingly geeky reference to the auxiliary inputs on stereo systems and other audio equipment.
The space can hold anywhere from 60 (seated at tables) to over 100 (standing), and should make a nice addition to the all-ages concert market that already flourishes on the West Bank at venues like the Cedar Cultural Center and the Acadia. O'Reilly says that Aster Cafe booker Elli Rader will be in charge of the Aux 1 stage, and that their aim will be to book one- to three-piece acts as opposed to full bands, giving musicians a chance to try stripped-down sets or bring in jazz and instrumental projects.
There will also be projectors installed to accommodate multimedia community events like Books and Bars, which has grown in popularity at the Aster.
Aux 1 is slated to open as soon as August. We'll be sure to keep our readers posted as the venue starts booking concerts.