Star Bar Ready to Shine

One Barrel and Jade Monkey owners collaborate, open bar in Capitol East District

Star Bar, 756 East Washington Avenue, is on the first floor of The Constellation building.

Star Bar, 756 East Washington Avenue, is on the first floor of The Constellation building.

A new bar opening in the 700 block of East Washington Avenue plans to fuse Madison’s near-East Side industrial heritage with the present-day funky vibe of the Tenney and Marquette neighborhoods.

Star Bar, operated by Peter Gentry and Hawk Sullivan, opens January 16 on the first floor of The Constellation building, part of a slate of first floor retail offerings for the 12-story mixed-used building which opened last year.

Both men grew up in the Marquette neighborhood and hope to create a bar that is accessible to the surrounding neighborhood while also seizing on the rising activity in the Capitol East District. Gentry opened One Barrel Brewing on Atwood Avenue in 2012, while Sullivan is a longtime business owner with three other hospitality establishments in greater Madison.  Continue reading

Megafaun Glides Through Madison

Megafaun’s Phil Cook (right) and brother Brad Cook play at the High Noon Saloon Friday March 23, 2012. Photo courtesy: Eric Baillies

I had never heard Megafaun before, but was drawn by its description on the High Noon Saloon’s show calendar, “…grafting delicate banjos and stoned digressions of their previous records onto sturdy, catchy pop song structures”. Friday night (March 23) the North Carolina-based band visited Madison on the first leg of a U.S. tour after February dates in Spain and Portugal.

I went to the show expecting lively banjo but was delighted in its alternate application as part of a restrained mix of guitar, keyboard, and sometimes accordion along with plodding vocal melodies that only occasionally rose to a dull yell. Add in their opening act Field Report, featuring a similar musical style, and it was and wonderful evening of folk-rock music with some unexpected flourishes, best displayed during Megafaun’s extended jam “Real Slow”…more photos after the jump.

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