Bridge Building: Collaboration Fuels a New Venue

Photograph by Jaci Hendricks

Earlier this fall, music lovers packed the old Il Fiasco space on 6th Avenue to welcome Beyond the Bridge Café (above) to its new home, away from its old Sumner haunts, and to hopefully ring in a new era for music and the arts. They crowded inside the intimate space, filling tables, lining the walls and sitting (and later dancing) in the area directly in front of the stage as music from Robert DeLong, Luke Stevens and the Courage filled the café’s freshly painted walls.

To introduce Tacomans to the café, owners Ben and Trish Rubke collaborated with the Warehouse, a local team of independent music promoters who have hosted some impressive shows despite being booted from their own space earlier this year.

Ben Rubke said he wants Beyond the Bridge to be a place where artists in the community can pursue their art as a sustainable career, as opposed to “something you do when you’re outside your cubicle.” He envisions a place where people can listen and participate, while the space encourages energy to spread “through the ranks, creating a collective mindset.” 

Robert DeLong jumpstarted the evening with his intriguing mix of electronica meshed with guitar, vocals and anything else he can use to create music. Up next, Tacoma singer Luke Stevens hushed the crowd with his indie folk rock. Strumming an acoustic guitar and joined by back-up vocals, the man showed off an honest talent.

The highlight of the evening was the Courage, led by Noah Gunderson. Gunderson’s smoky voice, accompanied by the band, including his sister Abby’s sensational and sometimes frenzied violin playing, got the crowd grooving and Gunderson’s dreads swinging. 

After watching his new venue come to life, Ben Rubke concluded that the café’s vision lines up well with that of the Warehouse. “They are the red to our blue in 3-D,” he said. •

See more in the November 2010 issue   →