New year brings changes in venues

Kryptonite changes format with Jan. 13 grand reopening, Minglewood closes music café

With the new year come changes in local entertainment venues, including hot spots Kryptonite Bar and Minglewood Café.

Minglewood’s change was in location. The boutique on Broadway and 9th Street will remain open, while the entertainment venue, formerly on Jefferson Street, will no longer be in operation.

Minglewood owner Karen Elyea was reluctant to speak about why the changes were made, but emphasized she was committed to the boutique and wanted customers to be assured that portion of the business would remain open.

Meantime, Kryptonite Bar, which has featured all forms of primarily rock music, recently announced it would be changing its format to primarily acoustic music sets, with a grand reopening set for Friday, Jan. 13.

“It’s not completely different, but different from what I’ve been doing,” said Chris Wachowiak, owner of Kryptonite. “I wasn’t happy with the crowds I was getting.”

Wachowiak said the venue had become too event-driven. If there wasn’t a local band, there wasn’t anyone there, he said. So Wachowiak said he decided to “mainstream it.”

Wachowiak was also getting complaints that the venue was too loud and that there was nowhere to sit. He said he also got a lot of complaints about cover charges. Wachowiak decided to get rid of all three complaints, starting with the noise level.

As of Jan. 13, Kryptonite will no longer book hard-rock bands. They are looking for mostly acoustic music. Punk bands will have to wait until at least May when the patio can be opened.

To diminish the seating complaint, the building now contains 40 new chairs, and the stage has been minimized to about half its original size.

Cover charges are completely gone, with the exception of any Charlotte’s Web performance.

Another big change in the live music that is played on the weekends is the starting time. The new live entertainment will start at 8 p.m. and end around 10:30 p.m.

Kryptonite has also combined with King’s Table to offer six different gourmet pizzas to be served from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. The pizzas will be available for carry-out purchase at the end of the night.

The big change upstairs is the new hookah lounge, which includes five hookahs and 20 different types of tobacco to combine for unique flavors. According to Wikipedia, an online free encyclopedia: “A hookah is a traditional Middle Eastern or Asian device for smoking. It is also known as a water pipe, nargeela/arghileh, shisha, kalyan, ghelyoon or Ghalyan, or hubble-bubble. The hookah operates by water-filtration and indirect heat.”

Mondays will now feature ping-pong leagues and Tuesdays, starting Jan. 18, will be a new live talk show, hosted by Tim Stotz, that will be broadcasted by vodcast.

According to Wikipedia: “Vodcast (por. ‘video podcast’) is an emerging term used for the online delivery of video on demand content via RSS enclosures. The term is an evolution specialized for video, coming from the generally audio-based podcast and referring to Video On Demand (VOD) and (web-, narrow-, broad-) casting.

“The video enclosed in a vodcast can be stored on a Web server in any file-based container and codec, or streamed from a streaming server. Podcasting clients can usually be set up to open suitable software to play the videos, although iTunes can play vodcasts internally if they are in a suitable format. Both formats have their advantages: file-based media can be synchronized with portable media players, whilst streaming allows seeking without downloading the full file, better statistics and better digital rights management.”

The talk show will feature all types of artists, from music to poets. This type of “Chicago blog” may be the first to be taped in front of a live audience.

“It will be the first video blog in front of a live audience…as far as anyone knows,” said Wachowiak. Their featured guest for the first taping will be Bun E. Carlos from Cheap Trick.

Even though Kryptonite has made a lot of changes, it will still offer open stage and karaoke nights.

The grand reopening of Kryptonite, at 308 W. State St., will be Friday, Jan. 13 starting at 5 p.m., the new opening time. The event will have giveaways and chances to win prizes.

For more information about Kryptonite, call 965-0931.

From the Jan. 11-17, 2006, issue

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