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Live Music Returns to Brewster Street Ice House

Brewster Street Ice House has implemented COVID-19 regulations to bring back live music to its downtown Corpus Christi location. Courtesy photo

Live music is back in full swing at Brewster Street Ice House's downtown location, and new health protocols are in place so customers can kick back, relax, and enjoy while minimizing the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

After temporarily closing in April due to government mandates, Brewster Street Ice House reopened its doors in May and transitioned back to showcasing local talent on May 19, announced General Manager Jeff Winton.

“When we re-opened back in May, we began with free live music shows and also experimented for the first time offering standup comedy featuring local artist Steve Trevino,” Winton said. “We were surprised at how well the turnout was. Seven out of eight shows were completely sold out, with the last show just shy of selling out by two or three tables.”

Thanks to that, Brewster Street Ice House has been riding through hard times during the pandemic.

“Some of the challenges we faced included having to reduce our capacity from 1,300 people to just under 250,” he continued. “The atmosphere vibe definitely changes when you go from large jam-packed crowds dancing with a high-energy band such as the eighties cover band like The Spazmatics, to suddenly having to stay seated at tables that are situated six feet apart from one another during a concert.”

To stay within a 200-person occupancy, Brewster Street splits events by holding two shows in one day. For example, Casey Donahew put on an early show and a late show. The move has brought back crowd favorites such as the The Deft-Ones (a tribute to the Deftones) and OZZ: A Tribute to Ozzy Osbourne with Trisum. Those events sold out.

“Although we aren’t making a ton of money with the reduction of capacity, if we can maintain 150 to 200 people during our live entertainment days Thursday through Sunday, it will help us stay open,” Winton said. “We are blessed to have such a loyal customer base, and everyone that comes here expresses how grateful and happy they are that we are open and offering live shows no matter the circumstance.”

Recent changes made by Brewster Street Ice House to accommodate the state’s health and safety mandates during live shows include:

  • selling tickets by the table, varying prices by table location
  • sitting up tables 6 feet apart
  • requiring face coverings and masks when moving about the facility but not when seated at the table
  • having cocktail waiters available to take beverage orders at each table to minimize customer contact at the bar
  • adding hand-washing and hand-sanitizing stations
  • serving pre-wrapped food with pre-packaged utensils, straws, and cups
  • providing online menu ordering, take-out and curbside pickup at both downtown and Southside locations

Brewster Street’s Southside location is open for take-out and curbside food and beverage orders, but live entertainment has not yet returned.

“We want everyone to know that we are open with all the necessary precautions to ensure safety for all our customers,” Winton said. “All our employees are required to wear masks, we have social distancing tables, and we added a new position on our staff called 'Mr. or Ms. Clean,' whose job is to walk the property and sanitize the entire facility. If that’s what it takes to provide live music and shows to our community, then that’s what we have to do.”

Brewster Street Ice House has two locations:

• Downtown at 1724 N. Tancahua, Corpus Christi, 361-884-2739

• Southside at 5550 Holly Road, Corpus Christi, 361-345-2739

For more information on live events, visit the venue’s website or Facebook page.

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