News Column

The Post-Crescent, Appleton, Wis., The Buzz column

July 28, 2014

By Maureen Wallenfang, The Post-Crescent, Appleton, Wis.



July 28--On any given night in August, it might feel like you've walked into X-tra 920's grand opening.

The new entertainment and event venue opens its doors Friday at 527 W. College Ave., in downtown Appleton, in the combined former spaces of Casablanca and Venue restaurant/bars.

"We're going to have a bunch of grand openings because we have so many genres of music," said owner Frank Schadt. "The first month is already solidly booked. I've got everything but country music."

That, too, will eventually get its day.

Schadt figures the crowds for each individual concerts will be different. Booked music so far spans hip-hop, rock, reggae, jazz, techno and original work from 24 musicians or groups playing here in the Mile of Music festival Aug. 7 -to 10.

He's enthusiastic about the festival because it was a perfect opportunity to show off the new place to thousands of people.

X-tra's first night, Friday, is technically a soft opening with a DJ and no cover charge. The next night, Saturday, has two hip-hop headliners, Kirko Bangz and Bobby V.

X-tra 920 will be different from other bars because it will only be open on the nights it has a concert, DJ, private party or wedding. Other nights, it will be dark.

A few reminders of a past business still exist in the physical space -- notably Fusion's garage doors and stainless steel waterfall -- but otherwise the place had been gutted and center wall removed. It was redone in a style he said was inspired by Miami with white walls, modern industrial metal details, VIP seating and platforms for DJs and performers.

"The whole place is white because we work with so many LED lights. The bar is all lit up and has Grey Goose bottles built into the bar."

Capacity is 565 people, but when he adds in the connected OB's Brau Haus bar/nightclub/restaurant space, which he and his family also own, capacity jumps over 800. He hired 12 bouncers, 12 bartenders and bought a metal detector from the Houston airport that everyone must walk through. "Everybody feels more comfortable and it's safer when there are no weapons," he said.

Schadt put more than $500,000 into renovations and the purchase of the three connected buildings in May. He leased the third one, the former Senor Tequila's, to the new C-Vine Lounge, which is already operating. He said all of his businesses and C-Vine can be booked together for a large event.

See booking information at www.x-tra920.com and the music lineup and ticket costs on its Facebook page, facebook.com/xtra920.

-- Maureen Wallenfang: 920-993-1000, ext. 287, or mwallenfang@ postcrescent.com; on Twitter @ wallenfang

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(c)2014 The Post-Crescent (Appleton, Wis.)

Visit The Post-Crescent (Appleton, Wis.) at www.postcrescent.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Source: Post-Crescent (Appleton, WI)


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