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It’s small, it’s smoky, the booze flows freely and there MIGHT be room for two people on the stage (three if they’re all wearing skinny jeans and have a close relationship). It’s The Office, located at 901 Carter Street inside Days Inn. For years it was a rite of passage for aspiring singers and songwriters, the kind of place where you either won the crowd over early or were heckled out the door in short order.
These days the place hosts a revolving door of well-known local figures like Amber Fults, Jon Wimpee and Ryan Oyer. Why would folks who are admittedly accustomed to playing larger venues wait in line to play a place smaller than the average basement?
Because there are things you get from playing to a crowd of 20 people that you can’t get from 200 or 2,000. Maybe it’s nostalgia or sentimentality but there is a cool factor to playing that tiny room that’s hard to find elsewhere. It doesn’t hurt that the bartenders are great and the drinks are powerful.
With so many musicians getting their start in hole-in-the-wall joints like this, it is supremely satisfying to know that Thomas Wolfe was wrong; sometimes you can go home again.
If you’re looking to get up close and personal with the local scene, swing by The Office, order an adult beverage and settle in. Something cool is about to happen.