New owner, new vision for Downtown Music | Rock Candy

New owner, new vision for Downtown Music



Samantha Allen, 28, long a presence in local music promotion, has purchased Downtown Music, 211 W. Capitol, from founding owner Alan Wells, who’ll continue booking shows in the venue through June. On July 2, Allen celebrates the changeover with music from Fallen Empire, Iron Tongue, A Darkened Era and Microcosm.

Allen brings a wealth of experience in booking. She started at Vino’s as a teen, working for the street team before graduating to become the venue’s chief booking agent, which she kept up for four years. For the last year, she’s helped manage The Village.

Allen says that she plans on keeping Downtown a “heavy” venue, but also appeal to a broader audience by booking everything from “country to death metal.” Her main adjustment, she says, will be to expand the club’s hours. Initially, she plans to open 5 p.m. until close Wednesday through Saturday, with occasional Sunday, Monday or Tuesday shows. By opening earlier in the evening, she says she hopes to cultivate a bar crowd. And by mid-July or August, she plans to operate as restaurant, serving soups, gumbos, sandwiches and salads from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The club will remain all ages and Cool Shoes, long one of its most popular nights, will continue.

I haven't been able to get a comment from Wells, but Allen said that she and he had been friends for years and that he approached her about purchasing the club and thought she had a vision consonant with his original idea for Downtown.

On June 26, Wells' band Shitfire celebrates the release of a new album and Wells last night as owner. The show poster includes this promise, attributed to Wells: "We're gonna get wasted and I ain't leavin' until someone cleans my puke up for once."

The Downtown website includes this note:

And to celebrate the near decade long run of completely getting wasted, booking the best bands in town, having the best sound quality, building up the little rock scene, and bringing everyone together..... We will be doing dirt cheap drink specials all nite. Please come out and support the club and show respect as we close the first chapter of Downtown Music and begin the next. If you love Downtown Music...We expect to see everyone there this nite. Sat June 26th.

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