STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
Hot on the heels of the soft launch of Backyard Beans Coffee Co.’s café at 408 W. Main St. comes a new entertainment venue in the same building.
The Underground, named for its 2,700-square-foot basement-level location at 408 W. Main, will now be the spot for Round Guys Brewing Co.’s original music concerts, yoga sessions, comedy nights and private parties (also adding much needed production space for both Backyard Beans and Round Guys). It’s a short walk across Wood Street from the Round Guys brewpub, and close to Lansdale Borough’s Madison Parking Lot.
“We realized when we brought in live music or drag shows, we were losing money,” said Round Guys brewer Scott Rudich, mentioning the “place to hang out” presence of the Stove & Tap restaurant across Main Street.
But now the brewpub will be more about food and beer, and if you feel like it you can stroll across the street to The Underground on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday to see who’s performing. The Underground is also something to do if you have a long wait time to get into Stove & Tap, noted Rudich.
The partnership between local specialty coffee roaster and local craft brewer could potentially make the corner of Main and Wood a downtown destination for original live music, coffee, regional wines (such as Stone & Key Cellars, Cardinal Hollow and Pinnacle Ridge Winery), cocktails with regionally distilled liquors (such as Boardroom Spirits and Bluebird Distilling), and Round Guys beer. According to Rudich, Round Guys and Backyard Beans are even collaborating to create a coffee stout and other coffee-bean-and-beer concoctions.
The 34-seat Backyard Beans café upstairs at street level has grab-and-go sandwiches, hot quiche, pastries, plus beer and a cocktail menu.
The cozy-nightclub downstairs event space called The Underground has a capacity of about 80 people — noticeably more than the Round Guys brewpub can accommodate; a poured concrete short bar featuring draught lines for several beers (Rudich said one tap could be used for a guest craft beer), wine, cider or mead; and a lounge for conversation or reading away from the music.
Explaining why The Underground’s focus is on original music acts, Rudich said: “We’re not looking to create Lansdale’s next party bar.”
He said talks are underway with Discover Lansdale to make The Underground/Backyard Beans the rain location for the borough’s First Fridays event. Other future events could include “Talk to the Brewers,” an escape room and a series of second-run and family friendly movies. “For those that remember the old days of Round Guys, we’ll have our popcorn machine and maybe a hot dog roller,” Rudich said of the movie series.
“It’s gonna be a great shot in the arm for Lansdale,” said Tom Pennise, bassist and vocalist with The Pennise Family Band. “Scott from Round Guys brewery … his approach is he seems to give a crap about the music.”
The Hatfield mother-father-sister-brother combo (with Jim Bowman on drums) are one of The Underground’s opening-weekend acts, with more than 20 original songs in addition to their repertoire of classic rock.
The band recently played at the Wells Fargo Center on the concourse during intermissions of two Philadelphia Flyers games, and in the arena’s Cure Insurance Club as pre-show entertainment for the recent Garth Brooks/Trisha Yearwood concerts. Pennise reported seeing a lot of “total strangers that are smiling ear-to-ear.”
“We’re gonna keep pushing that smile,” he said.
Show time is 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. April 29 and cover is $5. Doors open at 7. All Underground shows will have tickets available on Ticketleap.
• April 28: The Dutch’s Basement Blues Band, Glue Factory, Roman & The Heard, 8 to 11 p.m. Cover $5.
• May 1: First Monday Yoga, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Cost $15 (includes your choice of a beer, bloody Mary or mimosa).
• May 4: An Acoustic Evening with Daniel Anderson, 8 to 11 p.m. Cover $5.
• May 13: Ladies of Lansdale “Momma’s Boys” drag show, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Cover $10.
• May 13: Ladies of Lansdale “I Love Momma” drag show, 10 p.m. to midnight. Cover $10.
• May 20: Post-Race Zen Yoga, 10 to 11 a.m. Cost $15 (includes a drink).
• May 20: The Hueman Group, 8 to 11 p.m. Cover $5.
Bookmark: www.underground.roundguysbrewery.com, www.facebook.com/RGBCUnderground, www.backyardbeans.com.