If you walk into The Moon on West Berry Street by TCU this Friday, you’ll notice a couple of drastic changes:
The room has gone from about 1,000 square feet to nearly 1,300, the stage is longer and deeper, and the sound system is top-notch, with a mixing board and additional monitors, a world away from the days when owner Chris Maunder had to course through sweaty bodies and crouch down in front of the stage during sets to adjust levels on a box. His explanation for the redesign is simple: “It called for it,” he said. “I hit my ceiling in sales and capacity” – anyone who’s been past West Berry on a weekend night knows he’s not exaggerating.
“There’s too much business, we’ve been growing too fast, and I didn’t want to have to turn customers away anymore.” The capacity now will max out at 215, up from about 150. When he took over the club about four years ago, Maunder had a clear goal in mind: to draw the TCU folks on the weekdays and local and regional music fans on the weekends. With a bigger stage and legit sound system, The Moon has become a bona fide rock club, on the same level as the Wreck Room, 6th Street Live, and the Moon’s next-door neighbor, The Aardvark. “That both of us are [remodeling] at the same time is a coincidence,” Maunder said, referring to The Aardvark’s recent upgrade. “The more people that come [to the TCU/West Berry area], the better it is for business all around.” Maunder began work about a week ago and finished just in time for the fall influx of scholars.
The total cost of the project is about $30,000, money that has come straight from Maunder’s pocket. The figure doesn’t include labor – he and some of his employees did all of the dirty work, including repositioning and elongating the bar, putting up drywall, and painting. He said the room will still have the same color scheme and décor – and vibe – and the façade will remain the same, but the space overall will just be a little more comfortable and musician-friendly; hence the bar on the opposite side of the stage rather than coming to a point at the lip of the stage. Maunder also plans to hire a full-time bar-back and door guy, in addition to adding some interior touches incrementally and putting together a small food menu. Bands of all sizes, he said, have already gotten word of the upgrade and have been calling to try to land gigs there. Malt Country will play the soft opening this Friday, and for the grand opening next weekend, The Burning Hotels, supported by The Always Ready, Chatterton, and the High School Assembly, will headline on Fri., Aug. 24. Darth Vato and Catfish Whiskey will play Sat., Aug 25. For more, visit TheMoonBar.com, MySpace.com/MoonBar, or swing by 2911 W. Berry St., 817-926-9200.
… On Sunday at Sardine’s Ristorante Italiano, house bandleader Jhon Kahsen will host a jazz guitar night featuring Keith Wingate and Sam Walker, with bassist Jonathon Fisher. The show starts at 6 p.m. at 509 University Dr. For more, call 817- 332-9937.
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