Fine Line faithfuls return to reopened cafe

FBy Eric Swanson For University students Joe Gustafson and Steve Quaday, a visit to the recently reopened Fine Line Music Cafe was worth the wait.

On July 9, the students were among the first group of music fans in almost five months to enter the renovated venue. A band’s pyrotechnics set a fire that damaged the Fine Line last February.

“It’s great to come down here,” Gustafson said. “They sure did a nice job with the way they’ve built it up. I don’t see what else needs to be done; it looks great to me.”

The approximately $2 million renovation included a new sound system, lighting system, and new furnishings. Fine Line owner Dario Anselmo said installing television monitors will be installed around the nightclub to showcase performers on stage.

The club’s overhaul is expected to be complete in time for its July 24 grand reopening.

Anselmo said the club opened July 9 because he felt he could not keep the Fine Line’s doors closed any longer.

Before the night’s music started, Anselmo thanked his staff, the bands, and the construction companies for helping reopen the cafe.

“(You) guys are why we’re doing this,” Anselmo said.

The crowd enjoyed a night full of music from bands such as Lowen & Novarro and the Scott Laurent Band.

Fans attending the Fine Line’s official grand reopening will take part in a benefit for the Station Nightclub Fire Relief Fund. The benefit will help aid the victims and families of the Feb. 20 fire in Rhode Island that killed 96 people and injured nearly 200 others.

The Fine Line staff will donate half of their tips earned from the reopening night to the fund and Anselmo said he will match that amount.

Gustafson and Quaday said they plan to return to the Fine Line to see the completed renovations.

“It’s a good first experience; definitely a place I’d like to come back to,” Gustafson said.

Eric Swanson is a freelance writer.

The freelance editor welcomes comments at [email protected]