Big plans at heart of CBD bar rocking live and local
ALMOST a year has gone by since former band mates Ken and Nina Weaver decided to take a punt and become partners in business.
The couple's love for music and belief in the resurrection of the heart of Ipswich have been central to their mission to convert a formerly burned out bridal shop into a rocking bar.
Banshees Bar and Art Space has hosted a consistent flow of local and interstate bands twice a week since opening at the end of May last year.
The Weavers have also opened their doors and made available their wall space to local artists in that time, hoping to create something of a creative hub.
In the midst of what has been a challenging time for CBD business owners to say the least, the bar owners remain surprisingly upbeat about the future.
"We are doing better than we thought we would be doing at this point,” Ken said.
"We have locked in with a 10-year lease because we believe in the centre of Ipswich, and that we will be in a great spot when the redevelopment is complete.”
Banshees is a fitting name for the city bar and art space, given the fact that due to the design of the stage, the bands have been given a bit of liberty when it comes to the decibel limit.
Ken proudly labels it as "Ipswich's loudest bar”.
The Weavers cut their teeth during the couple of years they spent getting bands to play at the former Coronation Hotel in West Ipswich. After Nina finally convinced Ken to settle on the building, they took about six months redesigning what was a bridal shop that was gutted by fire in 2017.
"We were lucky in a way because the fire coming through here meant that all the electrics were new,” Ken said.
"It's a bit of a tardis; it looks small from the front but when you come inside it all opens up.”
With the current format of Friday and Saturday night gigs going well, the venue has branched out into once a month drumming workshops on a Sunday.
In the coming year, they will also rebuild the kitchen and start serving food, along with hosting more multicultural events.
Nina says she is hopeful about the future of the city.
"We went for a meeting with the administrator Greg Chemello and we think he has a really good vision,” Nina said.
"We believe we can survive long enough to see Ipswich transform.”
Banshees Bar and Art Space is celebrating its first birthday with a party on June 29.