Revival re-imagines heritage music venue in Regina

Revival, a new music venue in an old space, opened Friday on Dewdney Avenue in the Warehouse district.

Owner Rick Krieger plans mix of original music and cover bands

Revival, a new live music venue in the Warehouse District, takes its inspiration from live music rooms in Nashville. (The Revival/Facebook)

Revival, a new music venue in an old space in Regina, opened Friday on Dewdney Avenue in the Warehouse District.

Owner Rick Krieger — who also ran McNally's Tavern which was previously in that location — said the name springs from the rebirth of an old building into something new, and the revitalization of the railway yards across the street. He told CBC Radio's Saskatchewan Weekend that part of the room's new design was inspired by a recent visit to Nashville, Tenn.

"Their live music rooms are in historic buildings on their main strip… and they all had the stage right at the front door as you walked in."

That meant patrons got a dose of the place's energy as soon as they walked in, he said. He set out to replicate that ambience with his renovations, placing the stage near the entrance and making the most of the heritage building.

Owner Rick Krieger decided to place the stage near the front door like he had seen in venues in Nashville. (submitted by Taron Cochrane)

"The brick and the floors and the timber, it all plays nicely for a live music venue and makes it feel warm and makes it sound great, too," he said.

A lot of that is also thanks to planning and hands on work by musicians who moonlight in construction.

"These days musicians find ways to make music their passion and be able to afford to do music so a lot of them have skills in the construction industry," he said.

"So I thought, why not hire fellows like this. I was getting a lot of input from them as far as how to design the stage and make it more user friendly, sightlines for the room and that sort of thing."

From start to finish the renovation took about six weeks. He said one of the more emotional parts was ripping out the old bar.

"We actually sold the back bar to a young fella and he planned on putting it in his man cave in his garage," he said.

"Seeing that drive away was very memorable."

Krieger said the choice of natural materials makes the space feel warm 'and makes it sound great, too.' (submitted by Taron Cochrane)

Now with a new bar, new stage and new decor, Krieger is looking to welcome back his old patrons and attract some new ones.

"People were asking for shows to start earlier in the evening so we're going to accommodate that," he said.

"Most of the live shows are going to start by 8 or 8:30 in the evening and they'll be done by midnight."

After midnight, the venue will switch to a DJ format for those who want to keep dancing later into the night.

Krieger said he's planning to feature a mix of original and cover bands, starting with this weekend's kickoff.

with files from CBC Radio's Saskatchewan Weekend