The underground bass scene rejoiced with the re-opening of The Black Box in Denver, CO on July 4, 2020. Functioning as a restaurant, The Black Box (‘The BB’) is now providing live limited capacity events (with social distancing and in accordance with CDC guidelines).
How did this Denver staple fair so well with these strict guidelines? Innovation; something that is not only found within their sound but within their capability to adapt and elevate.
The Black Box is now providing dinner and a show by incorporating a gourmet mobile eatery that has a five-star menu available to all patrons at their reserved table. The BB has also partnered with local establishments (eateries), helping stimulate the local economy.
Walking into The Black Box, I was immediately greeted with a temperature check and then escorted to my table. Once on the outdoor patio, I noticed the floor plan was completely revamped with many tables distanced at least 6 feet apart.
Servers provided top-notch food and cocktail service. The addition of QR codes to see the available menu/drink items was a nice touch. The stage was centrally located so every table had a perfect visual and audial experience.
This was the first live music I have seen since the middle of March. The Black Box, its crew, and the respectable attendees went above and beyond to make sure this experience felt safe and secure.
Tables are first come first serve. Even if you have a reservation, make sure you arrive by mid-afternoon or your table will be forfeited to the masses due to capacity limits. Believe me, they are waiting.
Health and Safety Measures
Being the health-conscious person that I am, I was definitely paying attention to how employees and attendees were treating safety protocols.
The outdoor set up worked wonderfully along with The Black Box‘s security were making sure masks were worn at all times.
A special shout out to staff members Anndrea DiDonato, Ray Jay, and Alex Stone for providing nothing short of 10/10 attention. I was in awe with how my drink was constantly full and my food was provided fast and fresh.
Engulfed in the atmosphere of the new layout, the only thing left to take notice of was the indisputable sound of The Black Box.
The architect behind the hand-built sound system is Darrien Williamson, who originally created the Dem Daya Sound System (the name of this infamous sound) for reggae/dub. His creation has extra space in the cabinet for sound travel and is equipped with acoustically flat horns that can only be built in Ukraine.
The green, red, and gold paint job is the cherry on top and truly represents the reggae/dub vibe. Influenced by his time in London (UK), Darrien Williamson, also known as the producer, Scarien, is a connoisseur of sound.
He is attentive and diligent to his craft, especially during showtime. He has been working at ‘The BB’ for a year and a half, and the venue is grateful to have him.
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With the establishment in full swing and at maximum capacity, the owner of The Black Box, Nicole Cacciavillano, made it a point to connect with me and discuss the re-opening.
Nicole has been in the EDM scene for over a decade. She has been running the label Sub.Mission, throwing shows in Denver, and eventually opened her own venue… The Black Box.
It is no surprise she is considered a top innovator in the bass community by helping create what has become one of the best underground scenes in the U.S.
a Word From the Owner
The first topic we touched on was how important it was to be successful with the new CDC operating procedures. Nicole and her team have taken the necessary precautions to ensure everything is above and beyond safety standards.
During our conversation, I let her know how well her staff was doing, and how much it meant to them to be there. Nicole said in response, “We need to set the example. If we work together, we can change things.”
Nicole sees the Black Box is in a true position to be the change the world needs. Not only does she see this, but she is actually doing something about it. Impressive is an understatement.
The staff at the Black Box are taking every precaution to ensure the safety of their patrons while still offering the community and artists the connection we all need right now.
Photos courtesy of The Black Box taken by Rez