Lost Dog Found: Buster’s returns in a big way

 photo by zach brake | Staff Buster’s Billiards and Backroom is located on Manchester Street at the Old Tarr Distillery District. The venue will open its doors Friday.

photo by zach brake | Staff Buster’s Billiards and Backroom is located on Manchester Street at the Old Tarr Distillery District. The venue will open its doors Friday.

By Matt Murray

Lexington looks to add a new venue to its music scene this weekend for its 18-and-over crowd with the grand opening of Buster’s Friday night.
Buster’s Billiards and Backroom is estimated to hold 1,000 people, making it the largest concert venue of its kind in Lexington. Jessica Case, owner and manager of Buster’s, said size is just one of many things that will set Buster’s apart from similar venues.
“Our size will let us create a vibrant music scene. We have the capability to house state-of-the-art equipment,” Case said. “But at the same time, we’re still Buster’s with the old pool hall everyone knows and loves.”
Buster’s’ original location was the block that was torn down to make room for the CentrePoint building. Case frequented Buster’s while attending UK as an undergrad and law student and bought the rights to the bar with her husband after the previous owner could not afford to relocate the venue.
Case said the new Buster’s modeled itself off of similar-sized venues, particularly The Orange Peel in North Carolina. Buster’s was so fond of the rock club that it worked with Orange Peel owners in the early stages of its development.
Case said one of her biggest goals is to try to help with the exposure of local artists while making a connection with the campus and the city.
“We chose the acts we did for our opening because they had Kentucky roots and we want to showcase the talent the state has to offer,” Case said. “These are national-caliber bands who haven’t had a place like this to play in Lexington until now.”
The bands set to perform this Friday are Lexington’s Chico Fellini and These United States and Louisville’s Wax Fang.
The opening isn’t without some butterflies.
“I’m nervous. Lexington has never had a venue like this,” Case said. “I hope people support and embrace it. Even if people don’t think it would be their kind of scene, they should still check it out because I think they could be surprised.”
Much of Case’s stress is a result of the amount of work the employees have poured into the venue.
“We put so much of ourselves into this place. After months of planning and construction, we’re right down to it. I can’t describe the feeling. I’m sure I’m going to cry,” Case said.
Buster’s is located at 899 Manchester St. in the Old Tarr Distillery Warehouse. The venue is hosting its grand opening this Friday at 7 p.m. with the concert beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased on the venue’s Web site or at the door. The event is 18 and over. People under 21 will be charged $2 at the door on top of the ticket price to cover the cost of them not buying drinks.
Staff Writer Megan Hurt contributed to this story.

2 blockbuster nights of music.

Goldenrod was absolutely fantastic and These United States were just plain raw … Thank you Buster’s!

Last night’s kickoff (9/4) was AWESOME–great music, huge crowd and fantastic vibe. Congrats to Clark & Jessica for doing it up right; the best is yet to come!

Glad to see this in Lexington!

The 2nd night (Saturday) is a free show: Some Other Meanness, Idaho/Alaska, and Goldenrod. 8pm.