Arts & CultureMusicNightlife

Hi-Fi Music Hall soon to open in Eugene

Hi-Fi Music Hall is setting up in a venue that many have seen come and go, but Hi-Fi is making advances that may set it apart from the others.

They will open May 8 in a space with a varied history. It was once Studio 44, Dusk and a country/hip-hop bar. The venue has seen some strange times, but the Hi-Fi team is completely renovating the space and implementing ideas to draw in bigger crowds.

Danny Kime, a co-owner with Mark Hergenreter, has been in the music business since college. However, this is his first time opening a music venue and he isn’t taking it lightly.

“The management and business model for this place was always the same and always failed. They set us up to have to jump through a lot of hoops to make this what we wanted. I think it shows how hard we are willing to work for this place to succeed.”

Due to a lack of proper permits in the past, the OLCC flagged the space as a “nuisance building.” This made getting liquor licenses that much harder for Kime, but he believes the work he is putting in now will do a lot for them in the long run.

To start, the Hi-Fi team is completely renovating the restaurant area. They refurbished the wood from the old deck and sanded it down to make the bar. There will be a small stage in the restaurant to feature local bands and an outdoor patio connected by a glass garage door.

Sandwich League, a beloved Eugene food-cart, will open up as the food aspect of the venue. Sandwich League owner, Rich Sellars, is also Production Manager for HiFi.

“We have had a lot of support,” said Sellars,” All of the people that taught us what we know are rooting for us and having heavy hitters that know the industry cheering you on is huge.”

The concert area is being renovated and the stage is moving to open up the space. The change will open up the dance floor and turn the other half into a bar and sitting area.

“A huge part of walking into a venue is the entrance,” said Kime. “People should feel the energy and the crowd before they get to the stage. The old set up didn’t accomplish that.”

Hi-Fi is partnering with GravityLab Inc. to stream all the concerts live on their website. They will also be putting up screens throughout the bar so people can watch the show from there.

Christian Lindsay, a University of Oregon senior, is pursuing a career in music and believes a new music venue is a great idea.

“There can never be enough venues for that type of thing,” Lindsay said. Every space is different and allows for artists to create a new experience for the audience.”

The first shows on dock are Zepparella, an all female Led Zepplin cover band, and Reeble Jar. Kime is certain these shows will sell out long before the performances.

“This is the time to make it happen,” said Kime. “I believe there is a very real place for the HiFi Music Hall in downtown Eugene.”

More information about music schedules and events can be found on Hi-Fi’s website.

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Ally Taylor

Ally Taylor