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ArtInRuins

The Blackstone moving to Pawtucket

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I happen to know that the Blackstone, a bar/venue in Cumberland is moving to Pawtucket. Its not really a secret. They are still looking for a space to move into, but have some options to consider. They have big plans for up to three stages, coffee, pizza, pool tables, and of course a few bars. Ideally they would like to located along the river and have an outdoor volleyball court like they did in Cumberland, but we'll see. I personally would love to see them close to the Grant and Main Street, but wherever they are, I think there is a real opportunity to start to draw spectators for good live music into Pawtucket.

With the Green Room, the Call, Safari Lounge, and the Met Cafe closed, and the future of the Living Room uncertain, there is a real need for a medium sized club to show local and national bands (like the Middle East, or what the Met Cafe was), as well as a smaller stage for single or duo musical performers. If the Blackstone wasn't in Cumberland to begin with, I think they would have drawn a lot more people (even though they were only minutes away...).

So I am excited by this news... but I'd like to hear other people's opinions on nightlife and how it may or may not revitalize a city like Pawtucket.

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if they bring in good live music, i'd go to pawtucket (although i'm not at all familiar with the city aside from driving through it to get to the blackstone river bikeway).

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So I am excited by this news... but I'd like to hear other people's opinions on nightlife and how it may or may not revitalize a city like Pawtucket.

Providence hasn't been very supportive of the local music scene - I think this could be a great opportunity for Pawtucket to step up and maybe become a goto place for live bands. I think that if the Blackstone could overcome the stigma of not being in PVD proper, this could be really successful.

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Here comes Mr Wet Blanket

Don't get me wrong, this seems like EXACTLY the kind of thing we need. That place out on B'way ain't exactly the best of venues, and I'm always wanking that there's no comfortable hangout in town. IMO, this is right in the groove, as it were.

But I will believe it when I see it. It's probably not what the City Fathers have in mind. (All those young people making all that noise!) And don't discount how important that factor is. If you think J's had headaches getting a simple office space up and running, imagine what this will be like.

Somebody tell me I'm wrong. Please.

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If you think J's had headaches getting a simple office space up and running, imagine what this will be like.

I think J's biggest problem is with the fire thing. This also affected East Side Ice Cream in PVD so it's not a Pawtucket thing, I don't think.

Regardless, I share the skepticism. I would also love for The Blackstone to move downtown but I don't know where it would go. I'm pretty sure, at least from passing by on my bike, that all of the buildings along the river are occupied.

Where could they go downtown?

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Apparently, they were looking at the new portion of the insurance building, the 2-story white thing on the north side of Main that ends next to the Sovereign Bank. The building that recently had the fire (George Wiley Center) is bigger than it looks with a lot of space on the Roosevelt Ave Side. The Masonic Temple at ~10 Pleasant St is under used. I see what looks like a food pantry operating some afternoons.

So there's no lack of space downtown.

I'm reading between the lines regarding City Hall. In my blogging adventures, I've talked to a lot of people who had issues with how their deals went down. NOBODY would go on record for fear of reprisal.

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Apparently, they were looking at the new portion of the insurance building, the 2-story white thing on the north side of Main that ends next to the Sovereign Bank. The building that recently had the fire (George Wiley Center) is bigger than it looks with a lot of space on the Roosevelt Ave Side. The Masonic Temple at ~10 Pleasant St is under used. I see what looks like a food pantry operating some afternoons.

So there's no lack of space downtown.

I'm reading between the lines regarding City Hall. In my blogging adventures, I've talked to a lot of people who had issues with how their deals went down. NOBODY would go on record for fear of reprisal.

The shows aren't always good, but the food is really cheap and they have a huge selection of beer and hard liqour

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Apparently, they were looking at the new portion of the insurance building, the 2-story white thing on the north side of Main that ends next to the Sovereign Bank. The building that recently had the fire (George Wiley Center) is bigger than it looks with a lot of space on the Roosevelt Ave Side. The Masonic Temple at ~10 Pleasant St is under used. I see what looks like a food pantry operating some afternoons.

So there's no lack of space downtown.

I'm reading between the lines regarding City Hall. In my blogging adventures, I've talked to a lot of people who had issues with how their deals went down. NOBODY would go on record for fear of reprisal.

Lets not get too carried away here...

Despite the difficulties we and others have had, blame is not to be placed entirely at the doorstep of City Hall (or the fire department). There is definitely tons of work to be done to streamline the process, but I think much of it is state level and not particular to Pawtucket. Development is a tough game, especially when you are trying to keep things affordable and not overstep the market, and that makes things doubly difficult...if we had the cash, I tell you, this would have been millions of times easier. At the same time, the city has to realize that for ANYTHING to happen, things have to be made easier and faster for people that don't have the cash...otherwise those downtown buildings will remain empty for a long, long time...

I will say, things are MUCH faster in The Bucket than PVD regarding certain things, and that is not to be discounted...

The Blackstone is just what Pawtucket (and PVD for that matter) needs, and I think most people in the city would agree...

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But I will believe it when I see it. It's probably not what the City Fathers have in mind. (All those young people making all that noise!) And don't discount how important that factor is. If you think J's had headaches getting a simple office space up and running, imagine what this will be like.

Somebody tell me I'm wrong. Please.

I wont tell you that you are entirely wrong... it is completely possible. But I will say that John, the owner, is old school Pawtucket as well. He knows the mayor and guys like Mike Cassidy from way back. He appears to me like an insider. The Blackstone was originally in the bucket 8 years ago, before they moved (I couldn't quite get an answer as to why they moved out of John). Also, John's wife Marion is the managing editor over at PBN. This "insider" status has me thinking that they can pull it off somewhere in the city.

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It might work if they book decent bands and not suburban 'Blueshammer' dart throwin/pool shootin' bullcrap. Here's an anecdote I found:

"A band I used to be in played the cumberland location once back in 03. The owner's wife mixed sound like it was the lounge act at the Sheybogan Holiday Inn (reacting extremely negatively to any suggestions, I might add), and they were adamant about loading in/out through this ridiculous 'air locked' room in back. Did you know that had to move your empty guitar case into this room before you could play, on the grounds that the empty axe case was a fire hazard?"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have heard similar stories from others who have played there, usually ending with "never again." IF they manage to get up and running in pawtucket, they need someone who knows what they are doing wrt to booking to step in.

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Blackstone at Hope Artiste Village (1005 Main St)

The Blackstone...would occupy 5,000 square feet of mostly rectangualr, wood column-interrupted space...at 1005 Main St., in South Fairlawn not far from the Providence line.

The mill complex...was acquired by California-based Urban Smart Growth which is transforming it for a mix of arts and other uses in a more than $20 million project dubbed Hope Artiste Village.

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One word for the fishwrap.

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Get to know it.

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One word for the fishwrap.

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Get to know it.

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