Last night I got my first peak at the new Met Cafe, my friend Glenn Alexander of Tevellus was at the soon-to-be-open venue, setting up the sound system and invited me in for a sneak peak of the refurbished space. It appears Rich and Sarah Lupo may have done it again. The newest incarnation of The Met is located at 1005 Main Street in Pawtucket had housed The Blackstone for the past few years, the husband and wife team have done a tremendous job with the space. I had enjoyed a few shows at The Blackstone, but had always felt the room had been misused with its cramped stage design and general focus of the space on the bar and pool table area. Those of you familiar with the former bar occupying the space will be pleasantly surprised to find all of the downfalls with The Blackstone of been correctly addressed with the new design of The Met Cafe.
A neon sign hung above the new main entrance to the music venue, a direct entry door located on main street. Formerly you had to traverse the main foyer of the building to enter the club. Upon entering I was taken aback by the tremendous open floor design they’ve employed. The Stage is about 25 feet in front of the entrance and measures an estimated 20′ wide and 15′ deep. Directly to the left of the main entrance was a sizable sound booth with an enormous 52 channel board! To the right was a 1′ riser, about 6′ wide that spanned that half of the room, a similar riser was found on the opposite side of the sound booth but about half the length of the room, presumably high top cocktail tables will be brought in for the risers to provide surface area for drinks as well as a good vantage point for seated patrons. The approximately 75′ wide by 50′ deep room is sparsely populated with support columns and long bars are located on either side of the room. They’ve retained the original hardwoods throughout the room and given them a shiny new coat of lacquer.
One bar had 16 taps, designed for two bartenders to each have access to a possibility of 8 different beer on tap, behind the bar was two or three coolers that could accommodate a large variety of bottled beers as well. I hope the selection will be wide and focus on some of the amazing craft beers from the area. The walls behind the bars are graced with giant murals of Rock stars that have passed on like John Lennon, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Holly, Jim Morrison and more! In addition to the general redesign that has focused the space towards the stage, they have added large Mens and Ladies rooms directly off the main room behind and to the right of the stage, no longer will you have to trek through the foyer to urinate! They’ve moved and reduced the size of the kitchen, and cut two service windows into the paneling. The limited fixtures makes me believe they’ve been offering a limited fare of burgers, dogs, fries, maybe some mozzarella sticks, all perfectly portable bar food.
There’s still a good bit of work before The Met Cafe opens its doors tomorrow, Thursday September 9, 2010, but nothing beyond the capability of the staff. The 515 expected capacity club always offering All Ages admission unless otherwise requested by the performing acts, of course 21+ required to drink. Opening weekend is an exciting one with Civil Twilight playing Thursday for the WBRU cheap date series, a cover of $9.55 at 8pm. Friday September 10th The Met Cafe hosts The Ryan Montbleau Band doors at 7pm, a $15 show.