Near the corner of Sylvan Way and Warren Avenue in Bremerton, Winterland is rapidly becoming the place to be in the Kitsap-based rock scene.
Every weekend, the club brings in local and regional acts, new and old, along with a collective community inline with the Winterland mission — Classic. Rock.
Earlier this month, a chunk of that community volunteered its time to give the club’s space a much needed touch-up, owner Tony Winters said, as they rearranged the show room and built a brand new 12×22-foot stage — now more appealing to the audience’s eyes and ears and a better fit for bands and their gear.
“No longer do you have to bend the band around the stage,” Winters said. “Visual-wise … there’s not a bad seat in the house.”
Construction occurred between Feb. 11 and Feb. 23 as volunteer crews rebuilt the stage on the opposite side of the room, constructed a small green room space and added show curtains and stage carpet for sound treatment.
The result of those efforts is one of the most professional bar stages in Kitsap County.
“The local music community was awesome,” Winters said. “It tells me that everybody was ready to have a first class venue and basically that’s what it’s become.”
“I really think that that place is for music lovers,” veteran local musician and producer Tony Reed said of Winterland. “The clique is the music.”
Reed’s experience in the music industry dates back more than 20 years and he has been running live and studio sound for nearly half as long. Recently, he said he has somewhat shied away from running live sound because it is so abrasive on the ears.
But he’ll still cater to the new room at Winterland.
“It’s the best sounding room in town,” said Reed, who also owns and runs Temple Sound Studio in Port Orchard. “So if I’m doing live sound, that’s where it’s going to be.”
The club is also increasingly appealing to an ever-growing list of bands — including high profile visitors like the Seattle-based Neutral Boy.
Winters said his goal, since taking over ownership of the club in December 2006, has been to bring in more touring acts. The show room’s rearrangement is one of the first steps toward doing so.
“I’d always hoped that someone would actually put the stage where it is now, because I knew it would make it better all around,” Reed said.
Spanning back to the club’s olden days — formerly called the Pit Stop and Hansen’s — the stage had always been couped into a corner, bordered by a cement wall half-covered with mirrors and windows and door to the outside of the building. It was an ugly design aesthetically and acoustically, Winters said.
Not to mention the building’s primary support beam that was nearly dead center in front of the stage.
“It was kind of a Frankenstein stage, once we started taking it apart, you could see all the different additions,” Winters said. “I always hated that corner stage.”
Now, with the corner stage a thing of the past, Winterland will be welcoming back Neutral Boy March 9 along with Seasons of Nightmare as part of a fund-raising benefit for Kitsap County’s newest all-girls roller derby girls — the Slaughter County Roller Vixens.
It all begins at 9 p.m. for a price of $5.
For more information on Winterland including upcoming shows, visit www.winterlandproductions.com or www.myspace.com/winterlandproductions.