by Cathy P. Ross
Oct 31, 2012
08:02 AMCulture Cat
If you’re looking for a place where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came, you’ll find The Outer Space in Hamden fits the bill. The toned-down counterpart to the all-ages music club The Space (it’s next door) is a spot where a 21-and-over crowd goes to kick back.
Owner Steve Rodgers, singer in the rock band Mighty Purple, opened the club two years ago for adults who might be attending concerts, or just dropping off the kids, at The Space, an alcohol-free establishment he opened 9 years ago. Rodgers set up a 1920s-style craft-beer bar and began booking musicians interested in playing to a more mature audience in an intimate venue. Now, solo performers and groups perform a broad range of musical genres here almost every night.
We dropped by recently on a Sunday evening. A friendly greeter asked us if this was our first visit and informed us that we couldn’t sit on the patio because of a meetup of social-news website “reddit” members taking place there that night. We sidled up to the bar inside, and by the looks of things, we’d stumbled upon a prized hangout. The room was almost full—guys joked around the bar, a couple snuggled on a sofa and, in the next room, patrons chatted at tables in front of the stage as they awaited the arrival of The Blushing Bones, a folk duo from London.
The beer menu was impressive, with a selection of regional craft beers, including several made-in-Connecticut brews. Wine was also available by the glass or bottle. The food selection was limited to pizza—delicious pies from Tony Z’s of Northford—which went down easy with a City Steam ale.
The band put on a great show—the audience actually engaged with the group—this wasn’t just music to get wasted by. And the sound system was excellent; music filled both of the club’s rooms, but wasn’t overpowering.
The bar’s “30 in 30” challenge was also very enticing. If you have 30 different beers within 30 days, your name will be etched on the club’s wall for posterity. Now that’s name recognition!