Cincinnati USA is overflowing with music, so many venues and so little time. What about your pocketbook though? CincyMusic.com cares about your budget. We want you to be financially stable AND get your weekly dose of live music. Where can you go to stay under $50 for a whole weekend of music? Well, The Southgate House Revival of course! We decided to just "camp out" at one of our favorite venues in town and see how long we could stretch that $50.
For 10 months in 2012, the city mourned the loss of the best venue in town, The Southgate House. But much to our delight, The Southgate House Revival was reborn in The Grace Methodist Episcopal Church on October 12, 2012. The church was built in 1866, just after the Civil War. It is one of the few historic churches that remain in Newport, Ky. There are three rooms in the church that host music: The Sanctuary, The Lounge and The Revival Room.
The main room, The Sanctuary, still has an original pipe organ that was made in Cincinnati by Koehnken & Grimm that sits behind the main bar. The Sanctuary is similar in size to the other small clubs in the area and serves as the main room for larger events. The sides of the room are flanked with gorgeous stained glass windows that are a focal point of the venue. The Lounge is located directly outside of The Sanctuary. It’s perfect for open mic nights and other small acts. That leaves the coolest room in the place, The Revival Room. This mid-sized room is located on the second floor. The stage is framed into the wall with an old mural of Mt. Adams above it. The shape of the ceiling lends itself to amazing acoustics. Plus, there is a small nook to the side opposite of the bar that allows for people to just relax and escape for a bit. The Southgate House Revival is a perfect blend of a music venue, bar, and your best friend's living room.
The Southgate House Revival has live music every night. On a Friday we showed up with our camping gear and for $6 were able to see a band from Nashville with a local opener in the Revival Room. Out in The Lounge a folk band was rocking for the admission price of free! After a cheap night of dancing, we called it a night. Saturday we were back at it. A popular band was playing and tickets were $17. The place was packed but not to the point of uncomfortable. The large venue has many nooks to sneak off to for a breather. The band was so good we decided to hit up the merchandise table and pick up a T-shirt for $20. Out in The Lounge a bluegrass band was playing for, once again, free admission. Sunday we woke up with that last $7 burning a hole in our pocket. Good thing that Bloody Mary Sunday kicks off at 1 p.m.! We packed up our gear and saddled up to the bar for a bloody mary, extra olives. Well worth it after a weekend of music. We slapped down the $5 for the drink and the other $2? Tip for the bartender, of course. Always tip your bartenders.
We also had a chance to chat with general manager Morrella Raleigh about the first year back in the new space!
CincyMusic.com: I think the local music community has its home back at The Southgate House Revival. How has the first year been? Have your expectations been exceeded?
Morrella Raleigh: This first year has definitely been great, but also very challenging. Renovating a property this old is never easy, but I feel like we have truly made it a new home for music in the area. It's wonderful to see all the support and hear from all the bands that want to play here because they had a great experience with us. We've certainly gotten our groove back.
CM: What do you want folks to take away from their experience at The Southgate House Revival?
MR: Well, I always want everyone to have a positive experience and that's different things to different people. On the most basic level, I want people to feel like this is a place where you can come and enjoy live music of all different types and have a great time doing it.
CM: The Sanctuary, Lounge or Revival room…which is your favorite?
MR: It's hard to choose since they are really such very different spaces. I like the comfort of The Lounge being able to enjoy live music and a beer or cocktail while still enjoying conversation with your friends, but The Sanctuary is definitely the gem of the building. The Revival Room offers an intimate space with great energy.
CM: Any plans for the one year anniversary in the new space?
MR: No specific plans but we will definitely be marking the occasion somehow. We've got a packed October with a lot of great shows - CincyPunk Fest will be back, One More Girl On A Stage and Music for the Mountains, Stephen Kellogg, Built to Spill - and we'll be announcing more shortly.
CM: Anything else you want to share?
MR: I would just like to say thanks to everyone who has offered their encouragement, support and patronage. It's why we do what we do!
Livin’ in the Cin is the Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network’s (RTN) new initiative that taps into and creates a movement of passionate Cincinnati USA advocates. The goal is to generate awareness and excitement about the region and broaden residents’ perceptions of the area from a place they live to a place they should rave about to family and friends as a visitor destination.