View from Venue 104

Proof that Venue 104 is best for nights you have a babysitter

Tempe’s newest mix of performing arts magic, Venue 104 at the corner of Rural Rd. and University Dr., opened with a bang Friday night as patrons poured in for live bands, an art exhibition and apps of the edible versus digital variety. Permits making menu and liquor offerings possible are delayed, but no matter. It’s still a great place to hang with old friends or make all sorts of new ones.

Venue 104 is the brainchild of new father but seasoned actor Michael Peck (formerly of Chyro Arts in Scottsdale), which leaves me wondering which might be the tougher gig — changing diapers or booking artists. The Venue 104 Facebook wall’s got a wealth of photos showing the evolution from empty space to entertainment hub. Here’s a view from Venue 104 during the early hours of Friday night’s shindig…

Don’t let the empty stools fool you. Most folks were back enjoying the band…

Venue 104 has couches and bistro tables perfect for late-night conversation…

This mural by graffiti artist GriffinOne greets patrons as they enter Venue 104…

In another part of Venue 104, bands like Dearspeak took to the giant stage…

A separate room for music means patrons can choose to talk or enjoy tunes…

When we arrived there were already dozens of people listening to Dearspeak…

As one band played, another waited out front for their turn to load in gear…

A room that features work by local artists drew lots of thoughtful admirers…

“The (fabled) Tri-pod” by Edwin Allen Richards…

“What would YOU call it?” by Edwin Allen Richards…

“Missing Christmas” by Edwin Allen Richards…

If you ever want a bathroom to yourself, just waltz in shooting a camera…

— Lynn

Note: I took that last photo in honor of my friends over at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, who are finalists in a “best bathroom” contest taking online votes through Sept 19.

Coming up: Free Saturday event at ASU

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