Wednesday, June 4, 2010
Written by Madeleine Hebert
The funky art bistro sets its sights on becoming the next Lafayette live music mecca.
If you’ve been to Artmosphere lately, you know the place has gotten a face lift both inside and out, with new furniture and electronics, paint and artwork. But Artmosphere doesn’t just look different, and these alterations aren’t simply for vanity’s sake. The place is different; it’s been revitalized, and it’s on a mission to highlight the local music and art worlds.
“We don’t want to just be bar. ...It’s about the pleasures of life, the enjoyment of food, music, and art,” says owner Berry Kemp.
Artmosphere began as a restaurant and art gallery, a place to chill out and have a bite to eat. But over the years the restaurant has evolved to suit its patrons, and for the past several years has hosted live music every night of the week. What began with a sofa, a 2-foot bar and the Gin and Tonics playing on the back deck has become one the most happening music venues in Lafayette.
“For the past seven years Artmosphere has hosted live music seven nights a week,” says Kemp. “We’ve got a small, local band on Mondays, songwriter’s night on Tuesday, electric and groove on Wednesday, a blues band on Thursday, and the local and regional bands on the weekend.”
Artmosphere hosts a variety of local and regional musicians and has now made changes to accommodate the performers. Recent renovations include the addition of new P.A. system, a bigger stage and acoustic paneling. These alterations open the music to every corner, allowing the musicians to bring less equipment, and creating an atmosphere of controlled and polished sound. Artmosphere has elevated itself to the level of a more professional venue with better sound quality that makes any musical experience there more enjoyable for both the musicians and the audience.
However, musicians are not the only artists benefiting: Artmosphere has also recently re-hung all its artwork, adding six new artists and re-established itself as an ArtWalk destination complete with a featured artist, free wine and food and live music.
But Artmosphere is also looking back to its roots and trying to revitalize itself as a restaurant. It’s taken a leap and reinstated its lunch menu, expanding it to include healthy fare. And a drive-thru window isn’t the only place to get a meal in the wee hours: Artmosphere’s new “lunch” hours are from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. The addition of booths and tables has increased seating to accommodate about 60 customers.
Kemp says the changes “keep things fresh and interesting but still comfortable and homey.”
The venue will maintain its momentum this weekend with five bands over three days.
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