By: Pete Laffin
Cafe Aoin is ready to bring on the tunes.
A few months ago, the guys at Cafe Aion asked me to come in and talk about the possibility of creating a weekend music program. I arrived as they were closing up for the night, and I as I made my way up the stairs to the dining room, all I could think was: Fuck, this place is beautiful.
The last time I’d been in there it was called Burnt Toast, and significant upgrades had been made to the interior. A big, unnecessary wall had been removed, which opened up the room and made it seem far larger than before; a new bar had been built with significant space surrounding it for late-night patrons. Coupled with what the room already had going for itself (a red-brick fireplace, hardwood flooring, wide windows looking out on Pennsylvania Avenue), these upgrades made the place glow with late night potential. When I learned that a new stage would be built as an extension of the window platforms, I signed on to the project without hesitation. This looked to be the kind of venue I and many other Boulder music lovers have long awaited: a beautiful, classy room tailored for acoustic acts (and small band set-ups), but with a true nightlife atmosphere (premium cocktails and craft brews).
Cafe Aion, the nightlife version, doesn’t project to be another small, rock venue that caters to obscenely loud acts, nor does it project to be anything like the acoustic alternatives in town: coffeeshops with loud machinery where half the room ignores the live music in favor of glowing laptop screens.
The potential of this project has me giddy. There is an overflow of local acts who are a perfect fit for this type of space, with very few, if any, comparable alternatives. Since taking on the booking, I have done my darnedest to pack the calendar with premium local acoustic acts. On February 5th, Paul Kimbiris (whose latest album I had the pleasure of reviewing) will christen the new stage, followed the next night by the fantastic folk ensemble, Foxfeather.
I will be writing up profiles right here on BolderBeat every Wednesday for each of the weekend acts during our first month of operation, so keep an eye out! All weekend shows begin at 10PM, and we can’t wait to share with you, the music lovers of Boulder, what we’ve put together.