Most Needed New Music Venue

Critics' Pick

Well, the Canal Club in the Bottom was kind of midsized. But we really needed another one that fits about 350 people, or roughly the size for up-and-coming bands too big for small clubs such as the Camel but not big enough to fill up the National. And so Rand Burgess, owner of the Camel, Matt McDonald of Joe’s Inn, and booker Lucas Fritz opened Broadberry in April, across from the Science Museum of Virginia. It’s named so because it sits near Broad and Mulberry streets, even though it sounds like a frozen yogurt flavor or something from Smurf village. But forget the questionable name: What will it take for the club to be a success in Richmond’s notoriously finicky live music market? We’d venture combining local standbys that regularly draw, with exciting up-and-coming acts of all genres (bands that play Black Cat and U Street Music Hall in Washington and Cat’s Cradle in Carboro, N.C., for example). Or to put it in one simple equation: Music smarts + diversity = luck. Conversely, too many jam bands riffing on the chord patterns = slow death.
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