Nectar’s begins its second season under the management group that launched Nectar’s in Burlington, Vermont more than 30 years ago. The appearance by well-recognized reggae star Pato Banton, followed by a local artist night on Sunday, including Willy Mason and Phil DaRosa, is part of an overall plan, according to Aaron (Chief) Busick, Nectar’s general manager and talent buyer.
“Pato is a national act and national acts are important but supporting the rich local music scene is also part of our thinking,” Mr. Busick said Monday morning in the nightclub, located off Edgartown-West Tisbury Road in Edgartown, at the airport. “It’s a rich musical environment here and people like Willy and Phil could certainly be playing in a lot of places but they chose to be here.”
In fact, Local Nights, as they are called, will be a staple of the 2010 season, Mr. Busick said. “Local Night is a feature of a five-night-a-week entertainment package. Tickets for Local Night will be five bucks and all the money goes to the musicians,” he said.
“We are probably 30 to 40 percent booked for the season and firming up acts every day,” he said. “There will be some exciting surprises, particularly in August and around Labor Day. We haven’t released August dates yet but the schedule will be exciting. Big stuff, all genres.”
Nectar’s schedule for June and July includes: Pato Banton (June 11); Local Night (June 13); Zach Deputy (June 14); Local Night (June 24); Melvin Sparks Band (June 26); Toussaint Liberator (June 30); Local Night (July 1); The Boogies (July 2); Barrington Levy (July 9); Matt Kearney (July 23); Arrested Development (July 24); Donovan Frankenreiter (July 25).
While promising the joint will rock as it always has, Mr. Busick notes, “another focus is to bring all kinds of music here in a supper club format; jazz, bluegrass, world music, for example.”
Talking with Mr. Busick and poking around the cavernous club, a reporter gets the sense of a venue that is changing and shaping a clear personality that is different from the club’s prior iterations as Hot Tin Roof and Outerland.
For example, a large beehive oven stands on the mezzanine level to the left of the stage, where Flatbread Company will begin food service in July. “We’re going to have a simple menu — pizza, a few other things and some desserts,” said Paul Cucchiarelli, kitchen manager of the eclectic 10-unit pizzeria with restaurants in places from Maui and Whistler to Somerville.
“The idea is to be family-friendly and affordable,” Mr. Cucchiarelli says of the plan to partner with Nectar’s on the Island. “We prepare the food where people can see it, that’s a form of integrity, and we’ll use as much local and organic products as we can. That’s what I’m doing this week, visiting the farms and growers around the Island,” he said. Like Nectar’s entertainment plan, Flatbread has been thorough, down to finish design elements using clay in colors similar to the those seen on Aquinnah cliffs. The oven has capacity to bake 10 pies every 8 to 10 minutes, Mr. Cucchiarelli said.
And as a perk to the community, “Every Tuesday, we will invite a different community group to use Flatbreads for their own fundraising effort,” he said.
Nectar’s will retain its interior feel: “You have to love the look here. Walls covered with photos. This place has a rich music tradition,” he said. Rather than a cosmetic makeover, the managers will upgrade the sound quality and bring in new furniture conducive to dining and entertainment.
Both men are focused and intent, free from showbiz yada-yada. They are confident in an idea they have helped make successful in other locales. They believe the partnership is synergistic.
“It’s like a Venn diagram,” Mr. Busick said, thumbing up an Internet picture of two overlapping circles on his cell phone. “See? Those two circles are independent of each other but they overlap each other as well. That’s how we see this partnership,” he said.
For more information, visit nectarsmv.com or call 508-693-1137.