About 50,000 people joined in the streets of downtown Lansing on Nov. 17 for the 30th annual Silver Bells in the City. While the tree lighting and parade celebrated, the newly opened music venue Grewal Hall decided to join in the festivities with a holiday open house.
“When I realized the parade route goes right by our front door, I was like, ‘Hey come on in get a hot chocolate, check out the room,’ and hopefully people will go, ‘Wow I didn’t know anything about this.’ Maybe they’ll come back for a show, for a night out,” Kevin Meyer, co-owner of Grewal Hall, said.
The Venue opened its doors for shows officially in early October after a few construction setbacks in the summer led to the cancelation of their first few planned shows. Now with 13 shows under their belts, the five co-owners decided an open house was a good way to reintroduce Grewal Hall to the public. The open house was open from 5–9 p.m., giving people in town plenty of time to stop in and see the highly anticipated music hall.
“We were coming down here for the parade and we just saw the building and said, ‘Let’s go in and see it,’ and we were pleasantly surprised,” attendee Myron Frierson said.
The front of the hall is entirely floor-to-ceiling glass panes, giving parade goers a chance to look in and people inside the ability to watch the parade without having to be in the cold.
“We are sitting here in this balcony with a view in the warm and having a sip, a great introduction to the facility,” Frierson said.
Many people took advantage of the seating areas and drinks being served at the bar inside the venue, which served drinks ranging from hot chocolate to top-shelf spirits.
“Everybody’s been really excited that this place is open. It’s nice to have a venue of this size in mid-Michigan which wasn’t really something that we were fulfilling before in Lansing for a music scene,” Kitch Meyer said, a bartender at Grewal Hall who was working during the open house.
Lansing has a local music scene, but it has not had a dedicated venue with the same capacity in many years. Local bars such as the Green Door and Zoobie’s regularly host local bands, but community members are excited for the opportunity for that music scene to grow and expand.
“People have had to leave town for over a decade to go to a show. We’re not gonna change that overnight, but we will change that,” Kevin Meyer said, “People will still leave town to go to a show. They can also stay home and go to a show.
“I have been waiting for this place to open. Things were really great in the city before the pandemic, and after that, we lost a lot of our venues and a lot of our bands,” Burton Bargerstock, host of the “Lost in the Dark” podcast, said. Bargerstock had found out about the open house the night before and decided to stop by while he was already out for the parade.
“I’ve been hearing about this place and have been really excited to come check it out. Hoping that this kind of revitalizes the Lansing metal scene,” Bargerstock said.
“It was just nice to be here and be and be an active part of everything going on downtown.” Kitch Meyer said.
The hall has been open for only a little over a month now, but the owners want to make plans to continue to be a part of the upcoming community events in downtown.
“It gives us some ideas for next year,” Kevin Meyer said. “Watch the parade and then we’ll have a show, wouldn’t that be kind of fun?”