By Nancy R. Elliott
The Herald Bulletin
ALEXANDRIA, Ind. — One foot is tucked onto the rung of the stool. Hands are wrapped around an acoustic guitar, and a face is turned upward with song. The encouraging audience listens receptively over their drinks and munchies.
It’s open mic night at the newly opened Studio Café in Alexandria.
“A little taste of Nashville and New York in Alexandria,” is how Dustin Jacobs describes the new venue, placing the emphasis squarely on the music. “We are not a bar. We are a café — a live music house that serves alcohol.”
Jacobs, 36, along with his buddy and partner, Chris Chambers, 34, are the on-site entrepreneurs manning the bar and a whole lot more. The two recently joined forces with a third partner, FM Music Live, in a step that has broadened the pair’s vision for local, original music.
The Studio Café is an intimate venue. There’s a bar inside, dotted with stools. There are cloth-covered tables and chairs in the cozy space, and a small stage area for performers. Every Thursday night, it’s open mic night, up close and personal. On Fridays, look for scheduled local artists in the spotlight. Jacobs said that Saturdays are likely to become a game night.
In addition to beer, wine, mixed drinks, soda and coffee, patrons can purchase snack items or individual school-style pizzas.
“We’re going to expand our menu as soon as we get the money,” said Chambers. Expand is a key word, there, and Chambers and his pal, Jacobs, are all about that.
As it turns out, the Studio Café is really the tip of the iceberg. It’s just the latest morph-step in the rapidly evolving world of all-things-local-music at the Alexandria site.
‘By the people’
It was little more than a year ago when Chambers was running his bookstore, Days and Knights, in the building. Chambers launched a radio show, and invited Jacobs to participate.
“We started out just radio,” said Chambers. In June, 2012, they called themselves Geek Public Radio.
“I just had a table there,” Jacobs points to a space that was formerly just wide-open, empty building. “We started a talk show. It was like Bob and Tom meets pop culture.” Jacobs started bringing local music artists onto the show. “It started growing and growing.”
Now, in what was once that empty space with a table, there’s a recording studio, production booth, DJ booth, offices, and The Studio Café where Chambers used to have books.
The station live streams 24/7, and hosts a number of live shows with central Indiana artists, as well as providing coverage of local high school sports, politics and more. The schedule of live programming has expanded so much that DJ Crash Carney recently joined the RevolRadio team with his all request live mix shows.
Chambers and Jacobs, who have known each other since middle school, decided they needed a more marketable name that was more reflective of pop culture.
Jacobs came up with the mantra, “Radio for the people, by the people.” That prompted Chambers to associate the word ‘revolution.’ The concept transformed into the new name, “RevolRadio.”
When Michael Martin from Muncie’s Folly Moon and FM Music Live came to be on the radio show, he was impressed with what was happening. He threw his hat into the RevolRadio ring, bringing with him a suite of skills that have grown the RevolRadio focus.
“We’re all things media,” said Jacobs. “You can walk in our front door, you can get merchandise made, get your photos done… Basically, we’re an entertainment agency.”
The focus is opening the doors for local, original performers by getting them over the radio waves, onto the mellow stage of the Studio Café and into other entertainment venues.
“We support local,” said. Jacobs. “We’re trying to make a bright spot in Alexandria and provide an alternative for entertainment.”
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