Iconic Music Venue The Garage is Back, Baby
Written by: Sophie Taylor
“Take me to the place I love, take me all the way..”
Guess who’s back? Only an iconic music venue who played host to the likes of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Mogwai and Radiohead, that’s who. Holding a long and rich history within London’s live music and nightlife scene, the Islington venue has finally been given a new lease of life. Under new ownership and having had somewhat of a spruce up, The Garage is back with a vengeance baby. It’s all thanks to the music loving DHP Family – the team behind Oslo in Hackney and Nottingham’s Rock City – who’ve made extensive refurbishments and updates. There’s a brand new sound system, three new spaces and now a daytime coffee spot, craft beer and cocktail bar plus an ‘edgy new nightclub’.
The 600 capacity live music venue has been gifted with a brand spanking new PA and lighting system as well as a whole new renovated bar area, bathrooms and backstage areas. Big job guys! But they’ve pulled it off and we are free to reap their fruits of the labour this February.
I’m looking forward to scoping out the intimate Thousand Island space upstairs which will be showing ‘specialist forward thinking acts’ most nights and late night socials, featuring collaborative club nights and unpretentious set lists. This room is going to have a mirror ball filled ceiling, a wall of friends-of-the-venue photos and a ‘well-stocked bar’. That’s all you want to hear your new friends say really isn’t it?
Also catching my eye is The General Store at the front of the building – a new cafe and bar taking its theme from petrol station shops on small town America. There’ll be reclaimed gas pumps and massive beer fridges filled with a rotating menu of American and British craft beer. This will be open to the public as of Thursday 20th April. Exciting!
The new managing director, George Akins is pretty excited, describing the venue like the one that got away. “The Garage [love of my life] has been on my radar for about 10 years now .. For one reason or another [shyness] we have just missed out on taking over [asking out] this iconic venue and breathing new life into it [giving it a big slobbery kiss]”. Finally these two love birds have been united and we couldn’t be happier for them.
“We look forward to reinventing the space for a new generation”. Yes, George! Here’s to keeping the live music scene alive and well.
So don’t miss the relaunch of The General Store this April 20th. Stay tuned for more details and take a scroll through the Garage website and find what’s on this month.
The Garage 20-22 Highbury Corner, opposite Highbury & Islington tube station, N5 1RD.
Photos: Sarah Koury:Entirety
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