Fratters Speakeasy Venue will hit the ground running this Friday, when The Steadies play at the 5114 48th St. performing arts centre.
The dance, rock and reggae band, which is headed by Earl Pereira — a founding member of Juno-nominated Wide Mouth Mason — will then return Saturday night to close out an evening featuring a masquerade ball and cult classic movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Then on Halloween, the Celtic rock band Mudmen will take to the Fratters stage.
Chris Clark, CEO of Fratters Entertainment Corp., has plenty more planned for his new venue.
“Our Thursdays will always be our variety night,” he said.
“So anyone who can juggle, balance cups on their head, read poems — any kind of talent — can sign up with us and we’ll get them on the stage on Thursdays.”
Live entertainment is what Fratters Speakeasy Venue is all about. Clark plans to bring a variety of performers to Red Deer, and showcase home-grown talent as well.
“I’m trying to grab the whole spectrum,” he previously told The Advocate, listing musicians, comedians, magicians, hypnotists and even children’s entertainers as among the possibilities.
“We’re trying everything under the sun for the first year,” he added on Tuesday.
The premises, which previously housed Vertical Edge Skatepark, have been gutted and rebuilt. They now feature a dominant stage, special lighting and acoustical features, and rest areas for entertainers.
“We built it for performers,” said Clark.
There’s cabaret-style seating for about 150, as well as private booths. The 4,000-square-foot building will be served by a bar and a commercial kitchen that can prepare everything from tapas to steaks.
“It’s a full menu.”
Clark thinks Fratters Speakeasy Venue will fill a local void, pointing out that other performing arts centres like the Memorial Centre can’t serve food or alcohol.
“And then in other places, it’s strictly a pub.”
He expects initially to operate from Wednesday to Sunday, with hours 6 p.m. to midnight on weekdays and 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. on weekends.
“And then come the new year, probably seven days a week.”
Clark also plans to lease the premises out for private functions, like weddings and corporate training sessions.
Additional information about Fratters Speakeasy Venue, including upcoming events and where to get tickets, can be found on its Facebook page.
A website at fratters.com should be operating shortly, added Clark.