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 Busterâ€™s Friday night.
Busterâ€™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 Busterâ€™s, said size is just one of many things that will set Busterâ€™s apart from similar venues.
â€œOur size will let us create a vibrant music scene. We have the capability to house state-of-the-art equipment,â€ Case said. â€œBut at the same time, weâ€™re still Busterâ€™s with the old pool hall everyone knows and loves.â€
Busterâ€™sâ€™ original location was the block that was torn down to make room for the CentrePoint building. Case frequented Busterâ€™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 Busterâ€™s modeled itself off of similar-sized venues, particularly The Orange Peel in North Carolina. Busterâ€™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.
â€œWe 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,â€ Case said. â€œThese are national-caliber bands who havenâ€™t had a place like this to play in Lexington until now.â€
The bands set to perform this Friday are Lexingtonâ€™s Chico Fellini and These United States and Louisvilleâ€™s Wax Fang.
The opening isnâ€™t without some butterflies.
â€œIâ€™m nervous. Lexington has never had a venue like this,â€ Case said. â€œI hope people support and embrace it. Even if people donâ€™t think it would be their kind of scene, they should still check it out because I think they could be surprised.â€
Much of Caseâ€™s stress is a result of the amount of work the employees have poured into the venue.
â€œWe put so much of ourselves into this place. After months of planning and construction, weâ€™re right down to it. I canâ€™t describe the feeling. Iâ€™m sure Iâ€™m going to cry,â€ Case said.
Busterâ€™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 venueâ€™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.