For the past five-and-a-half years, Karli and Caleb Ingersoll have fanned the flames of the local music scene from the Bartlett, the venue they opened in December 2013 in the Richmond Building on the east end of downtown Spokane.
The Bartlett hosts local, regional and national acts and even has its own annual award ceremony.
When envisioning the Bartlett, the Ingersolls pictured a larger venue, but at the time it made sense for them to start with the 150-person capacity space.
“The Bartlett was a way to start smaller and try to grow and build and even see if Spokane would support what we were doing,” Caleb said. “We quickly realized with the Bartlett, we started selling out shows pretty fast and then it was like ‘Oh, I guess Spokane is ready for this.’ ”
Years later, the Ingersolls have gotten the larger venue they’d pictured with the opening of their latest endeavor, the Lucky You Lounge.
Lucky You, located at 1801 W. Sunset Blvd., is a 320-person capacity venue for ages 21 and older that features two stages, a restaurant and a bar. It’s open seven nights a week, even when there isn’t a show going on, and there are free shows Thursdays through Saturdays on the basement stage.
To raise capital for Lucky You, the Ingersolls hosted a benefit at the Bartlett and raised more than $35,000 in one night.
Before opening the lounge, the Ingersolls thought again of opening an 800-person capacity space, no restaurant in sight.
In partnership with Dan Spalding, who they rent the Bartlett from, the Ingersolls were convinced to take on the building, which previously housed the Sunset Junction.
“We essentially had to model the business plan around what was here,” Karli said. “There was a kitchen already here. It needed a lot of work but the bones of the space warranted the whole seven-days-a-week-restaurant concept. We wouldn’t have done that otherwise but it worked out for this space and the neighborhood.”
Hoping to add to the nightlife/restaurant scene in Browne’s Addition, the Ingersolls hired chef Josh Grimes, who runs the kitchen and planned the menu, a collection of starters and snacks, soups and salads, sandwiches and main courses, many of which are vegan and/or gluten free.
The full kitchen isn’t the only difference between Lucky You and the Bartlett.
The couple decided to make Lucky You a 21-plus venue (the Bartlett is all-ages) because they wanted the space to have a more mature atmosphere.
Lucky You will also feature a more eclectic concert calendar – everything from rock and hip-hop to electronic, soul and jazz – in comparison to the Bartlett’s folk-, string-, singer/songwriter-heavy lineup.
There will be a bit of collaboration between the two venues though.
The Ingersolls plan to use the Lucky You basement stage to host acts if the Bartlett is already booked or if they don’t think the act would sell enough tickets for a Bartlett show.
“It adds another opportunity for new bands that probably not that many people know about to come here and play,” Karli said.
Though Lucky You has already hosted a few shows (Mudhoney and the Dip both sold out), the lounge will have its grand opening weekend June 13-15 with performances by the Cave Singers and the Black Tones, Deep Sea Diver and Nat Park, and Super Sparkle and Sisters.
“It was a combo of trying to make a really fun lineup, but then also work with some bands that we have a good history with at the Bartlett as well,” Caleb said.
Built to Spill will headline Lucky You on June 21, the Joy Formidable will perform on July 18, and A Tribe Called Red will take the stage on July 22.
“We’re just now digging into booking because we were working so hard to get open that the calendar’s a little thin right now but we’re going to fill it in some,” Karli said.
The Ingersolls are looking forward to bringing more music to Spokane and working with other venues like the Knitting Factory to do so.
They can picture, perhaps next year, a patio and outdoor stage, and they’d like to hold theme nights.
Overall, the pair hope Lucky You Lounge will become a “step-up venue” for both local and touring acts who sell out the Bartlett but aren’t yet big enough for venues like the Knitting Factory.
“There’s a lot of bands that we’ve worked with at the Bartlett that grow and it’s a bummer when they then skip Spokane because there’s not a venue that’s the right size,” Karli said. “We want to keep working with those bands and continue our relationship with them so having a bigger spot is a great way for that to happen.”
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