After closing at the end of December, Carrboro’s The Station
will reopen April 7 under new ownership and with new management. The longtime Main Street venue will retain its live music focus but will shift from as many as seven nights of free events per week to three paid shows. So far, the programming looks to be more diverse than it’s previously been.
“Our vision is to keep with the musical background of the space,” says Michelle Temple, who has signed on as the room’s talent buyer. “We want to run intimate shows in this room professionally.”
Temple is a longtime staple of the music scene in Chapel Hill and Carrboro; she’s played in heavy acts such as Black Skies, booked the bygone bar The Reservoir, and helped fifteen bands land tours through her own agency, Lechuza Booking & Promotion. She’s most recently worked as the bar manager at the nearby restaurant The Venable, owned by Andrew Moore.
In January, Moore leased The Station, its neighboring bar The Tiger Room, and the train-anchored restaurant Southern Rail. All of those establishments closed in December after owner Mike Benson succumbed to tax woes.
Moore plans to reopen Southern Rail as CrossTies Barbecue in May
. The revamped Station is the first phase of his plan.
“We’ve very excited about opening it up,” says Temple. “And hopefully people in town appreciate it and think it’s valuable.”
To that end, the new Station won’t stray too far aesthetically from the old spot, though there have been some significant changes. The stage has been expanded, and a new bathroom has been added. The tin on the ceiling has also been swapped for something a bit more favorable to the acoustics, and a proper space for soundboards and DJs has been added. There’s a green room, too.
To go with those fixes, The Station has also upped its booking ambition. The first ten shows in the re-launched room, spread over four weekends in April, are impressive. Grandma Sparrow
and Wham City Comedy
share what’s sure to be a surreal bill, while the mighty Transportation mingles with the great new Knurr and Spell
. Michael Rank
, Kamara Thomas
, and Teardrop Canyon
join some of those gigs, too. The Station will host bands on Thursdays and Fridays, followed by DJs on Saturdays.
Once a quarter, The Station will sell advance tickets to a secret show and announce the bands the day of, much in the way of The Pinhook’s recent fundraisers.
“With those shows, we’re trying to celebrate a local band that’s cherished and that we feel is connected with the space in some way,” Temple says. “They’re going to be special.”