Businessman J.W. Roth likes to think big, even when he’s thinking small.
A company headed by Roth, which operates the Bourbon Brothers Smokehouse & Tavern in northern Colorado Springs, has launched construction of an intimate, live-music venue that will double as a multipurpose event center for farmers markets, corporate and social gatherings and other activities.
“It’s going to be really significant,” Roth said. “There’s just not a lot of this type of entertainment in Colorado Springs, where it’s this diverse.”
Bourbon Brothers Presents, as the venue will be called, is being targeted for a mid-December to mid-January opening, Roth said. He’s the largest shareholder in Bourbon Brothers Entertainment, which will operate the venue and already runs the restaurant.
Bourbon Brothers Presents is being built next door to Bourbon Brothers Smokehouse & Tavern, which are part of the Polaris Pointe retail complex southeast of Interstate 25 and North Gate Boulevard. Together, the restaurant and event center represent a $15 million project, Roth said.
As envisioned, the 15,000-square-foot Bourbon Brothers Presents will feature country music and Southern rock acts — top names who’d play smaller shows in Colorado Springs in between dates in Denver and other cities where they’d perform for larger crowds. About 30 concerts are planned in 2019 and Roth said he will release a schedule of performances by year’s end.
The venue would seat 750 for concerts, while a banquet setting with tables would accommodate 500. The venue capacity would increase to 1,700 with the use of a 4,000-square-foot, seven-fireplace patio.
Amenities will include a 16-foot wide stage screen, a 100-foot long bar, a dance floor, 100 beer taps and 50 varieties of bourbon.
Music, comedy and theater are among the entertainment uses for the facility, which also could host movie nights, weddings, reunions, corporate events and trade shows. Roth said he’s also seeking to bring sanctioned boxing matches — traditional fights, not mixed-martial arts — to the venue.
In addition, Bourbon Brothers Presents would feature a year-round, weekly indoor/outdoor farmers market with up to 96 vendor booths in the summer and 34 in the winter. The goal would be to allow local and out-of-town farmers and crafters to showcase their wares, such as paintings, quilts, food and beer, Roth said.
“We built it so it can act as a very, very diverse and flexible center,” he said. “At the end of the day, we think it will be a significant part of the community, we want it to be a significant part of the community.”
But Roth isn’t stopping there. In what would be a $20 million, third phase of development to accompany the restaurant and multiuse center, Bourbon Brothers Entertainment plans to develop The Inn at Bourbon Brothers — a 68-room, boutique hotel with an upscale steakhouse that might carry a nationally known restaurant brand, Roth said.
He’s still working to acquire land at Polaris Pointe for the hotel and is talking with restaurant chains for what would be “a very recognizable steakhouse,” Roth said.
The hotel would enhance the experience for concertgoers, who could have dinner, see a show and then head back to their rooms, said Mark Useman of Colorado Springs Commercial, who’s working with Roth on the project.
“To be able to offer a place for people coming to see the events, to stay right there, they don’t have to drive anywhere,” Useman said. “It will be a really nice, a really good addition for Colorado Springs.”