Weary, arts director for New Hope Academy Charter School, and Aaron Jacobs, development director for 3 Cord Inc., are helping friend and New Grounds owner Jenne Anderson re-
invigorate York's music scene.
"People are noticing that the coffee shop is open late some nights," Weary said. When customers ask about it, they are finding another reason to come back.
The idea of creating a music venue came up after the shop opened in late 2010, but building the coffee business was the first priority. With a growing clientele in place, the coffeehouse is now starting to host live events in the cavernous roasting area behind the store.
Smart Sound, a local deejay and audio/visual company, set up a stage, equipment, lights and microphones.
The space, which can accommodate up to 200 people, is designed to attract acts that have outgrown bars but have yet to break into venues like the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, Jacobs said. Its vaulted ceiling and industrial feel contribute to the acoustics and
atmosphere, he added.
Weary said the digital sound system has a bit of a heavy bass, which is helping create the venue's signature sound. He added he wants the venue to become a regular spot for local bands and a recommended stop for traveling groups.
The venue, which Weary said visitors have started to call "The Shop," hosts regular open mike events. It's open to all types of styles and genres from hardcore to R&B and indie rock to country. This weekend, the lineup includes spoken word Friday and metal Saturday.
"Other people know more about it than we do," Weary said with a laugh. The idea, he added, is to let it grow
The goal is to build relationships with bands and make them feel appreciated and respected, Weary said. The positive vibes will then flow into the audience and continue to multiply in the community.
Events are all-ages and Weary said they've attracted just that - senior citizens, college students and teenagers. Cover charges usually range from $5 to $15.
Anderson said locals in their late 20s and 30s might be looking for an alternative to the bar scene - either as a place to bring their families or to rediscover the joy of hearing new music.
The Shop, Jacobs added, provides a safe environment. He pointed out that teens are not welcome in a lot of public places anymore, including malls. When he was growing up, attending shows was a positive, empowering experience. He's hoping to bring that trend back to York.
"We need to support our youth," he said. He added that as long as guests behave responsibly, they're welcome.
Weary, who was in bands back in the day, said he wishes there had been a place like The Shop. But now, it's up to York to decide what it wants its latest music venue to be.
"We're laying out the elements to build the culture," he said "We're just putting them in one place."
New Grounds Roasting Co.
Address: 284 W. Market St., York
Hours: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday; 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; Open after hours for events
Artists including Suzu Reign, Ralph Real, Chad Clemons and Nicole Shockley will perform a blend of R&B, comedy and spoken word
8 p.m. Friday. DJ Cashmire will provide tunes. Cover is $15.
Rock and metal bands, including Fatally Yours, Wrath of Typhon and Saddle of Centaur will perform 6 p.m. Saturday. Cover is $6.
For details, visit www.facebook.com/TheShopAtNewGrounds.
Read meet-the-artist interviews with local talent at flipsidepa.com/musicdirectory.