Chelsea’s Live opens with 2 shows this weekend; we discuss with the owners | Music

The third incarnation of Chelsea is open for business.

Formerly known as Chelsea’s Café, it is now Chelsea’s Live. The name change is intended to distinguish the new Chelsea from its former Perkins Road and State Street locations, which were restaurants and music venues. Chelsea’s Live is a music venue that sells alcohol, but no food.

“It’s a combination of Spanish Moon and Chelsea,” co-owner Dave Remmitter said Thursday.

The music was a major attraction at Spanish Moon, a now closed concert hall on Highland Road. Aaron Scruggs, the former talent buyer at Spanish Moon, is talent buyer at the new Chelsea’s and co-owner with Remmetter and lawyer and music fan Grant Miller.

Located at 1010 Nicholson Drive between downtown Baton Rouge and LSU, Chelsea’s Live lists 28 upcoming shows on chelseaslive.com. They include appearances this weekend from two New Orleans bands, Iceman Special on Friday and Soul Rebels on Saturday.

Scruggs has worked as a talent buyer since 2001, first at the Spanish Moon and then at the Mid City Ballroom. At Chelsea’s Live, he plans to book often and book eclecticly.

“All genres,” Scruggs said. “Country, blues, brass, indie rock, hip-hop, punk rock and private events. You can’t put all your eggs in one basket. Some larger venues in other cities may be niche venues, a metal club, or a jazz club. In a market like Baton Rouge, you need to diversify your programming portfolio. »

Chelsea’s open booking philosophy will include national, regional and local acts. Friday’s show features Baton Rouge hard rock band Loudness War. Another Baton Rouge band, Karma and the Killjoys, will headline Chelsea on January 29.

Chelsea “will give quality and relevant locals a stage to show what they have,” said Scruggs. “If we have a local show here, it should be special.”

With several long-running music venues in Baton Rouge closing or becoming inactive, including Spanish Moon, Chelsea’s Café and, until recently, the Varsity Theatre, Chelsea’s Live instantly fills a void in the local music scene. .

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Scruggs sparked Chelsea’s comeback when he approached Remettter about reviving the Spanish Moon. Six months into this effort, they dropped the idea.

“So it wasn’t said that Chelsea were the next step,” Scruggs said.

Remetter closed Perkins Road Chelsea’s in December 2015 due to lease issues. He saw the relaunch of his Chelsea brand with Scruggs as a talent buyer as a big opportunity. He removed the Chelsea neon sign hanging next to the Perkins Road overpass and hung it on Chelsea’s Live. The new venue also features artwork and displays posters of Chelsea’s former location as well as the Spanish moon.

“It’s just too good to be true,” Remmitter said of the pieces coming together. “It’s almost like a progression of these two clubs and now we’re together.”

Located in the building previously occupied by Bano Produce and furniture, lighting and design firm Monochrome, Chelsea’s Live features a 30-by-20-foot stage in a 6,600-square-foot facility. The venue’s capacity is nearly 600 patrons, and with two bars in the space, admission is 18 and over.

Chelsea’s Live audio system and lights are state-of-the-art, Scruggs said. Three green rooms for artists include a full shower and two private toilets. Spacious toilets are provided for the public.

This weekend’s performances at Chelsea’s Live follow a quiet few days of sponsorship by friends and family of the owners and contractors who have worked at the site.

Once Chelsea’s Live is up and running, Remmetter, a hands-on entrepreneur whose other businesses include Radio Bar and Mid City Beer Garden, plans to become the silent partner he originally planned to be.

“I wanted to be here to make sure everything was okay,” he said of the build and launch. “It’s so much fun to be here at the start. I come home exhausted at the end of the night. I sleep well and it feels good. But, over time, I will no longer be involved in day-to-day operations. I have complete faith in Aaron and (General Manager) JP Richey.