Kelley USA wrote:Stopped by The Music Factory a few times this weekend... I'm going to give Big Beat some time, but considering how much hype and $$ they spent to advertise and promote the grand opening it was disappointing.
Met some friends after work at Highway 61 South for a few drinks. Place was maybe 40% full. Bartender was inattentive. Place smelled good, but we opted not to eat there. Big Beat itself was not that crowded except for Texas Jamhouse. They seemed busy. I was put-off with the whole Big Beat presentation though. It just screams "how much $$ can we make". From the merchandise push carts in the plaza to the excessive amount of extra tables scattered around Jamhouse and Highway 61 for "patio" dining, to the hamburger cart in the plaza, to the beer troughs. It felt dirty and overdone to me! We walked over to Thirsty Lion for dinner and all suddenly felt right again. Good food, great service, clean environment, games on the tv...
I do feel sorry for these bands playing the Texas Lottery Stage in the plaza. I mean there is literally nobody watching. I think parking is a mess for the whole complex. Having a cover charge after 9pm is going to turn people away. When people feel like they're starting to get nickel and dimed it turns people off.
I also walked around a little bit on Saturday afternoon. Felt a little better during the day. Jamhouse still had a nice crowd, and there were maybe 50 or 60 people wandering the plaza area with drinks in-hand and dancing to some DJ that was on the little stage. The whole presentation was still a mess though! I have no idea how this will shake out, but I'm betting they make some changes.
Nickel & dime and way too much going on is exactly how I'd describe it too. Here's a perfect example, what it takes to go to Martini Ranch on a Friday or Saturday night... You park in a garage that is likely almost full, especially if there's a show. You take the elevator down, and better make sure you have your ticket and make sure you remember to get it validated. Oh, but the validation doesn't matter because if you stay longer than 2 hours you're screwed anyways. Forget the parking, you make it to this large gated off area. There an attendant stops you and you have to pay the $12.50 cover just to get in. That's fine, there's some music playing and you want to check out this club. You make it to the front door and there's now a bouncer you have to pass. Whoops, forgot to wear business slacks, a belt, and a button-up shirt today. No entrance for you. If you happen to be wearing all those things on your night out, you're in and get to stand the whole time (no seating unless you're VIP), and buy $7 domestic beers. That's if you're a beer drinker, if you want any liquor you're going to have to sell your first born to afford it. All this happens, you're in, you have beer in hand, at least the place will be popping. Nope, a lot of strange folks and an older crowd await you, with no dancing to be had because the place is nearly empty. Hmm.. I think i'll opt for a $10 uber ride to Happiest Hour in Oak Lawn and enjoy the people watching and expensive drinks there instead. At least I will be surrounded by people my own age.