AMAGANSETT, NY — For 50 years, The Stephen Talkhouse has been an iconic presence on the East End landscape, bringing scores of A-list performers to the unassuming venue where music and memories have been made.
The Talkhouse has weathered years of history — and, most recently has, like so many businesses, faced daunting challenges, trying to keep its staff afloat during the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic.
But it's good news for Talkhouse fans: Live music is back as of Thursday, partner Nick Kraus said, presented in a new, innovative way to delight audiences while still keeping them safe.
"We’ll be putting on live music at the Talkhouse starting July 30," a message on the website states.
Though the Talkhouse is legally allowed to have patrons inside the club, "we are opting not to do so for safety reasons. That means the performers will perform on our stage but their audience will be seated outside on our patio deck where they can hear the show and view it on video screens. It’s a way to safely experience the show with other fans and support local performers and us in these tough times," the message said.
All door proceeds will go to the artists. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the performance slated to unfold from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Reservations are required for the a seated performance. Those attending must reserve a table of four to eight people and prepay for tickets here, or call 631-267-3117.
On July 30, the Talkhouse presents G.E. Smith & Joseph Arthur; tickets cost $60. On July 31, The Nancy Atlas Project performs; tickets are $40. And on Aug. 1 Hello Brooklyn takes the stage with tickets priced at $25. All social distancing protocols will be strictly enforced; patrons must wear a mask when using the rest rooms and food must be ordered with any drinks.
Discussing the long months of the coronavirus crisis, Kraus said The Stephen Talkhouse, like other bars and music venues as well as gyms, are the last to be able to fully open.
Because of new social distancing protocols, management has been unable to bring back many longtime staff members this season.
"The ones we able to bring back are working very limited shifts," Kraus said.
To that end, a GoFundMe page, "Stephen Talkhouse Employee Relief Fund," was created by Kraus in April to help.
"Like so many businesses and individuals across the country, the Talkhouse is struggling with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis," Kraus said. "We are doing our best to take care of our employees and will continue to do so. Everyone's health is our top priority and we will continue to follow all the guidelines. We have created a relief fund for our employees — who are a big reason why the Talkhouse is the Talkhouse. One hundred percent of all contributions will go directly to our employees. We thank you for your generous support."
The GoFundMe page, Kraus said Monday, remains set up to help Talkhouse employees who still aren't able to be back at work.
"The support we have gotten from the GoFundMe page has been much appreciated and has helped us support our staff during this unprecedented and difficult time," Kraus said. "We hope that everyone does their part in slowing and stopping the spread. We look forward to being fully open when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we are doing our best to operate with seating outside and following all safety guidelines."
To donate to the GoFundMe, click here.
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