Gas Monkey Bar and Grill

Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill Looks to Shake Up Local Music in Its
March 16, 2013 – 10:59 am

Gas Monkey's owner Richard Rawlings and general manager Alex Mendonsa

Gas Monkey's owner Richard Rawlings and general manager Alex Mendonsa

Gas Monkey

The combination of motorheads, good food and great live music probably is probably, well, music to some peoples' ears, and it's one that has worked really well for the brains behind Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill. Outside of serving some really stellar brisket and other delicious food, Gas Monkey has quickly become one of the city's stand-out music venues, hosting monster acts like Hank Williams III, Marshall Tucker Band and the Sword.

"We initially discused doing a few shows a month, and then once we got into it, we quickly realized we wanted to do more than that, " says Gas Monkey general manager AlexMendonsa. "And then we decided we wanted to kick ass and do as many shows as we can."

Their goals may have been ambitious, but Mendonsa and talent buyer Peter Ore both feel like the first year at Gas Monkey exceeded everyone's expectations, both in terms of what they were able to accomplish at the restaurant and the impressive calendar of acts that have taken their stage. Mendonsa attributes this success to the fan-and-band oriented approach that his team has taken in booking acts.

"Music fans are savvy enough to know when something cool is happening, " says Mendonsa, "and they definitely know when they're being price-gouged on tickets and drinks." In their efforts to make their venue as friendly for fans as possible, GMBNG offers free on-site parking for fans, and has avoided the massive service fees that most ticketing outlets charge fans by using Ticketfly.

Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill Looks to Shake Up Local Music in Its Second YearFiguring out how to best use the space at Gas Monkey has taken some careful planning, however. The outdoor stage is perfect for spring and fall concerts, but rain-outs initially presented a challenge, which is why the venue had a custom tent built around the stage, complete with heaters for chilly winter nights. As a result, the venue has only had one show completely rained out over the past year.

Perhaps more importantly, they've also worked extremely hard to make sure that bands really enjoy playing their venues. "Our acts know that we're going to take care of them, " says Mendonsa. In the past year, there has really only been one major snafu: The booking of David Allan Coe. Back in July, Coe was slated to perform at GMBNG, only to arrive and demand additional fees for playing outside. "He tried to blackmail us for more money, " says Ore. He doesn't mince his words on the matter, either: "'Don't book David Allan Coe' has really been our biggest lesson of the year. He's a lying scumbag."

The next year is looking even more exciting for Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill, especially as they plan to launch a brand-new music venue, Gas Monkey Live. It will be located across the street from GMBNG in the former Toby Keith's I Love This Bar space. The new venue is an entirely indoor space, which is much more conducive to hosting large shows during the summer or inclement weather. According to talent buyer Peter Ore, this highly-anticipated expansion comes at a time when they're looking to provide a more diverse calendar of music options to fans in the city.

"We want to do more volume, bigger scale, in a bigger venue, " says Ore. With a 2, 500-person capacity, Gas Monkey Live fits into a range that few other venues in the area are big enough to accommodate. "If we can have seven shows a night at both places, that would be awesome. There would be worse problems to have."

Source: www.dallasobserver.com
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