New Entertainment Venues: Noise Pop to Swedish American Hall, PianoFight in Original Joe's, More

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The dining room and bar at PianoFight. Photo from Facebook.

A report by Dana Eastland. The plot keeps thickening at the former ~CAFE DU NORD~ space and the ~SWEDISH AMERICAN HALL~, the multilevel entertainment, food, and beverage complex on Market in the Castro. As reported in October, many partners are involved, with a few different projects. A Basque-inspired restaurant, Aatxe, from the Ne Timeas Restaurant Group (Flour + Water, Salumeria, Central Kitchen) is in the mix, while downstairs will be an entertainment venue with food and drink operated by Ne Timeas and the Bon Vivants (Trick Dog).

Now, Eater reports that the Swedish American Hall, the upstairs entertainment space, will be operated by Noise Pop, the programmers behind Treasure Island Music Festival, the Noise Pop Festival, and the 20th Street Block Party. Actually, the whole project is starting to seem like 20th Street North, with many of the same partners. Anyway, the Hall will now serve as the headquarters for the Noise Pop Festival, as well as other local and national acts throughout the year. No word yet about food and drink service in the space, which should reopen February 2015. 2174 Market St. at Sanchez.

The Tenderloin has a new comedy, food, and beverage venue in the former Original Joe’s location. Eater reports that it’s called ~PIANOFIGHT~ and has multiple venues: a 5,000-square-foot theater space upstairs, a 3,000-square-foot basement, plus a full bar and restaurant. All told, there are two theater spaces and a cabaret stage, along with multiple dressing rooms and rehearsal spaces. The bar and restaurant offers classic American food, like burgers, corn dogs, and fried items. Drinks are simple: just a few classic cocktails, plus beer and wine on tap. The bar and restaurant is open 4pm-12am daily, with special late hours after shows. Here’s the show calendar. 144 Taylor St. at Eddy.

One more note about music and sound: ~OLIVETO~ in Oakland has installed a new sound system in partnership with Meyer Sound. It’s not exactly a music venue, but it is a novel new way to explore sound in restaurants. Meyer Sound, whose work can be found in multiuse spaces like Zellerbach Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center, have taken a two-pronged approach here: there’s a passive sound system (called Libra) and an active one (called Constellation) that help to control and optimize the diner’s experience of sound. Libra uses sound panels (beautifully printed with photographs by Deborah O’Grady) to minimize sound, while the Constellation system uses a special “reverberation algorithm” and 18 microphones to adjust the sound experience in the dining room. Now, this all may sound a bit fussy, but the overall effect is basically that you can hear your tablemates perfectly, and everything else in the dining room fades to a pleasant, quiet hum. Which is really the dream, isn’t it? The system was installed in anticipation of a new series of programs in the Oliveto dining room, too, including lectures, workshops, and musical performances. That programming is yet to be launched, but when it does, you won’t miss a whisper.