Aug 4, 2014
07:43 AM
Arts & Entertainment

Infinity Hall's $5.2 Million Hartford Expansion is About to Open

Infinity Hall's $5.2 Million Hartford Expansion is About to Open

Digital rendering of Infinity Hartford's exterior.

It’s a Thursday afternoon in late July and Infinity Music Hall & Bistro Hartford is filled with the sounds of construction not music. Nails are being hammered, electric drills and other power machinery is sounding and although the stage is still being set (literally) for the $5.2 million music venue’s grand opening in late August, one thing is already clear—the place has good acoustics.

“We work with an audio consultant from the beginning to ensure the superior sound in our rooms,” says the venue’s Marketing Manager Mary Ann Clerkin (her voice clear and echo free) while giving an advance tour of the space to Connecticut Magazine.

The restaurant and concert hall on Front Street will open on Thursday, August 21, with a performance by Toad the Wet Sprocket. September performances include John Mayall (Sept. 11), ASIA (Sept. 14), and Chick Corea (9/21).

(At right: the performance space still under construction at Infinity Hall Harford)

Infinity Music Hall & Bistro in Hartford is owned by Dan Hincks and is an extension of a dream that was launched when Hincks opened Infinity Music Hall & Bistro Norfolk in October 2008. The original location is housed in a historic 19th-century building and has attracted a who’s who of performers while building a dedicated following among Connecticut music fans.

The Hartford location was built with $1.3 million in state support through the Department of Economic and Community Development. The venue is expected to be a key fixture of Hartford’s Front Street District, an area that has received millions in state development funding. Up the block from Infinity is the Front Street Lofts (a 121-unit apartment building under construction), and the old Hartford Times building (which will serve as the campus for the University of Connecticut). Across the street is Ted’s Montana Grill (read our May feature on this Bison burger hotspot) and not far away is the Connecticut Science Center and Connecticut Convention Center.

Clerkin says the new Infinity location will be following the winning formula established by the original Norfolk space. There will be a separate dining and bar area where executive chef Dan Fortin, the current head chef in Norfolk, will oversee an American cuisine menu that will feature locally sourced products whenever possible. The restaurant and bar portion (shown in its early stages at left) of the venue will be open for lunch during the week and will be open to patrons not attending a concert.

The Hartford venue can hold just under 500 people and seats about 100 more people than Norfolk, but Clerkin says it will have the same small venue feel.

“[Our goal] is to be an intimate venue, there’s plenty of large concert venues around,” she says.

As is the case in Infinity Norfolk (pictured at right at), the Hartford performance space is split into two levels. The lower level can accommodate 400 people and will have removable theater seats so there will be the option of doing tabled seating or no-seat shows. The upper level has the box seats of the venue, it is close to the stage and has full waiter service, which allows guests to order and eat their dinner during a show. The upper deck also features opera-theater like boxes on both the left and right of the stage.

Infinity will block-book some acts who will play one night in Norfolk and one in Hartford. However, some acts will be selected for one venue or the other.

“Some artists are more suited to Norfolk and some artists are more suited to a city,” Clerkin says. 

Contact me by email eofgang@connecticutmag.com and follow me on Twitter, and connect with Connecticut Magazine on Twitter, on Facebook and Google +

 

Infinity Hall's $5.2 Million Hartford Expansion is About to Open

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