GRAND FORKS — The Half Brothers Brewing Company in downtown Grand Forks has added something new to its location — a basement entertainment venue.
The space, previously used as a storage room, measures approximately 40 by 30 feet and now houses a wooden stage and enough space to accommodate up to 49 people. The place itself is isolated from the rest of the basement.
“We had random trinkets there,” said Matt Eidson, social media manager and brewer at Half Brothers. “We kept all our merchandise there. It was basically a catch-all piece.
Finally, the idea germinated. Eidson said Half Brothers first considered the possibility around the end of August 2021. Ideas started flowing and discussions began about how to turn the space into something usable.
“We went down and checked and started talking about what we needed to do to make this happen,” Eidson said.
“Slowly but surely we started dropping little things here and there, and then we got really serious over the last two months and got the vast majority of the work done,” Eidson said.
It started with cleaning up everything in there and then setting aside space for the venue. Then came the cleaning, then finally the construction of the stage, the painting of the walls and the addition of decorations.
Next are the community-style tables, which were once set up in the brewery on the first floor, a few small fridges to hold beer, and a sound system.
“We have a couple of half-brother themed paintings upstairs that the artists have done,” Eidson said. “So we moved a bunch of those over there to kind of add to the landscape.”
The first gig held in the basement was on January 29, when The Shackletons, a band from the Twin Cities whose bassist went to college at UND, played for two hours. It was a success, but the concerts are not the only events to be held there in the future.
The stepbrothers asked for suggestions on what events to hold in space in a Jan. 15 Facebook post, and the results varied. The litany of suggestions included book readings, improv theater, open-mic nights, indoor cornhole tournaments, karaoke nights, a beer pong tournament and even an adult game room.
“The possibilities are endless,” Eidson said. “We also talked about allowing people to rent it by the hour. And naturally, so far, two couples have contacted us and are interested in getting married there, so it’s definitely a multi-faceted space.