Restaurant owners plan to bring intimate concert venue to Colorado Springs' north side

By Rich Laden Updated: October 10, 2017 at 4:14 pm • Published: October 10, 2017 0
photo - Bourbon Brothers Smokehouse & Tavern
Bourbon Brothers Smokehouse & Tavern

The owners of the Bourbon Brothers Smokehouse & Tavern plan to build a small concert venue on a vacant parcel next to their restaurant - hoping to capture big-name musical acts that want to perform intimate shows between performances at large venues.

Bourbon Brothers Presents, as the 15,000-square-foot facility would be called, would seat about 750 people and have room for an additional 200 or so in a 9,000-square-foot outdoor patio that would operate in the summer, according to Bourbon Brothers' head J.W. Roth and plans submitted to the city's Land Use Review Division.

Roth is aiming for a June opening for the venue, to be built as part of the Polaris Pointe retail complex southeast of Interstate 25 and North Gate Boulevard on Colorado Springs' north side. The venue's price tag could run $3 million to $4.5 million, although Roth said the cost is being finalized.

As envisioned, the venue would target country music and Southern rock acts, Roth said.

Many top names - "A" artists, as Roth called them - have a few days between shows as they travel from city to city, he said. The goal would be to bring them to Bourbon Brothers Presents for shows Mondays through Thursdays before they go on to Denver or elsewhere to perform for larger crowds, Roth said.

"As long as there's not additional travel involved and you're not looking at an 'A' (weekend) date, a lot of times you can have an 'A' artist pull over off the side of the road for $50,000 to $100,000," he said of a performance fee. "Our budget will be $50,000 to $100,000 for an evening. We make our money in alcohol sales and a little bit in the ticket sales, but primarily food and drinks is our bread and butter."

On weekends, Roth envisions the venue would play host to local bands, stand-up comedy, weddings, corporate outings or other events.

In addition to the venue's food and drink sales, Roth predicted concertgoers would fill other Polaris Pointe restaurants. The retail center's growing roster of sit-down, quick-serve and fast-food eateries and bars includes C.B. & Potts, Mikado Asian Bistro, Kneaders Bakery & Cafe, The Brass Tap, Dog Haus Biergarten, Broken Bones barbecue, Costa Vida Mexican Grill, Wendy's, Chick-fil-A and Taco Bueno.

"The restaurants that are out there, they will all flourish as a result of this event center," Roth said. "When you're going to bring in 1,000 folks for an event, that tide's going to raise all boats."

Ticket prices for concertgoers probably would range from $75 to $150, he said. While that sounds a little pricey, Roth predicts people will pay it.

"The advantage of a 'B' market venue is that you're right there," Roth said. "Everything's front row. This is not 25,000 people or 15,000 people. This is 750 people in a very comfortable setting with an 'A' artist.

"They're very expensive tickets. But you have to ask yourself, how much would I pay to sit in the front row of Darius Rucker (former Hootie & the Blowfish lead singer)?"

The Bourbon Brothers restaurant has gone through different brands since its 2014 opening.

Originally known as Bourbon Brothers Southern Kitchen, it became Southern Hospitality under a different ownership group.

Those owners, however, gave up the Springs restaurant and three others in the Denver area this year. A limited liability concept headed by Roth took back the Colorado Springs location and rebranded it Bourbon Brothers Smokehouse & Tavern.

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