|A sound investment on River Street
Troy-- Owner of pub to
open a 300-seat performance hall right next door
By TIM O'BRIEN,
First published: Thursday, January
revolution is brewing along the riverfront.
But it's more likely to be a battle of the bands than a
clash of troops.
Garrett C. Brown, owner of the Troy Pub and Brewery, is
opening Revolution Hall, a new 300-seat performance space with
state-of-the-art sound right next door to his 10-year-old
brewery. He calls it Revolution Hall -- the name a play on
Troy's role in the industrial revolution.
It's apt, since the building was constructed in the 1860s
for Curtis & Co., one of the booming shirt-collar
factories in the city at the time.
"We purchased this building actually back in '94 with the
idea of expanding the brewing process and the kitchen into
here but we never did it," Brown said. "With the evolution of
the business, we thought this was the best use of the place."
Brown, his father, Sid, and several employees of the brew
pub did much of the work inside, knocking down an interior
wall and constructing a balcony with room for tables. Brown
himself did the welding on steel beams and supports, and his
father did the electrical work.
The light and sound engineer will sit in a crow's nest
above the stage, safe from the elbows of the crowd.
Brown invested substantially -- he'll say only it was
"challenging financially" -- to get top-quality sound.
"The idea here is we have a system an artist can come right
in and plug right into," Brown said. "I really want the sound
to sell this place."
Brown hired Dalbec Audio to study the building's acoustics
and design not only the sound system but the stage as well.
"Gary's commissioned us to do the acoustical treatment of
that room, to design the room to Broadway standards," said
Richard H. Dalbec, owner of the firm that has also done work
on Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, The Egg and many local
college campuses. "When you hear a sound in that room, the
articulation is very good. If you don't do it right,
Dalbec said he liked the idea of putting the sound and
light engineers in a crow's nest above the crowd.
"What the sound man is listening to is what the average
person would hear," he said. "Often the sound man is in the
sweet spot so he hears better than the average person. Our aim
is to make the sound the same in every part of the room."
Dalbec and his employees John Goodman and Steve Gifford
spent 500 to 600 hours working on the project, and Dalbec will
serve on an artistic board that will help select performers
for the venue.
The Masque Theater Co. will also use Revolution Hall as its
base for performances.
The first official performance will be by Hair of the Dog
on Saturday. (There was a test run of the space Monday night
featuring two bands.) Brown already has a dozen acts lined up.
"We've had music all along next door," he said. "Over the
past six years, we were doing festivals out back. We felt this
was something that seemed to fit the Troy Pub. This will allow
us to do this all year round."
For many years, the space served as the home of William Lee
Moving and Storage, which specialized in moving, among other
things, pianos. Several pianos are still on the upper floors.
While Brown does not have plans for the upper three floors,
he does have work under way on a room away from the crowds
watching bands live. There, a studio is being set up to allow
recording of live concerts and live radio broadcasts of
"You could broadcast live like they do from the Grand Ole
Opry," Dalbec said. the Web: http://www.troypub.com.