The Space Concert Club is celebrating its two year anniversary, its second trip around the sun on Sunday, May 20th. The restaurant and venue biz is a difficult road, and two years is an accomplishment worthy of a multi-day celebration. And that’s just what they’ve got planned.

The Space on Edgewater in West Salem, where the old Morton’s Bistro used to be, is actually the second manifestation of Doug Hoffman’s dream of running a music venue in Salem. Hoffman started the previous Space, in the current Christo’s Lounge spot, with locals Joshua Blanchard and Jason Stringer. Hoffman credits Blanchard and Stringer’s contribution and early guidance as invaluable to the success of the current Space. “They taught me the ropes of how to book bands and run a music venue. I couldn’t have done it without their input.” Unfortunately, the development of a mixed-use building across the street, which included apartments, was the ultimate undoing of the original location. Apparently, the new neighbors didn’t appreciate having a music venue across the street. Boo.


But, if you know Doug, you know he kept his head in the stars and never abandoned his dream of another go. And here we are.

This time Hoffman has partnered with Stan and Summer Keightley to create what we have today. The new location is a much bigger space, which allows it to be more than it ever was. Stan already had an impressive sound system, that he perfected at the now defunct Level B. His system and his skill at making every band sound amazing is arguably the best sound system in Salem. Doug gives big props to Stan, “Partnering with Stan was one of the smartest thing I’ve done…one of the best decisions of my entire life.” One thing that sets The Space apart from other venues is it isn’t restaurant with a corner for live music; the music comes first. Although, the restaurant is equally impressive.

That’s where third partner, Summer Keightley comes in. Summer has been perfecting her vegan repertoire for decades and can win over even the most hardened carnivore with her creations. She’s developed Salem’s best (and possibly only) all vegan brunch, served on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 2pm. She’s capable and ambitious. They envision The Space eventually being the best vegan brunch spot anywhere. A lofty goal, but totally attainable with Summer’s culinary prowess.

And if that’s not enough, and don’t you think it oughta be, The Space manages a community vertical garden on the property called, “The Isle of Treasures,” with help from Derek Boaz. They currently partner with Howard Street Charter School in which the middle school students help plant, water, maintain, and cultivate the garden. The Isle of Treasures is always seeking new ways to create partnerships in the Salem community.

So, what are the plans for their big second year birthday? Music and noms (food), of course. Friday, May 18th; Buttfrenchers (punk), The Fools (hard bluesy rock), and King Ropes – a psych/roots gig from Bozeman, MT. Saturday, May 19th: Hustle and Drone (electronic pop from Portland with Salem ties), Night Lizard (synth dance pop), and Major Hex (debut of Joshua Blanchard new project). Sunday, May 20th: early show at 6pm with Nodding Tree Remedies’ new album debut (psychedelic strangeness), brand new band Contingency Plan (riff heavy rock feat. former Showtigers members Jake Hammer and Sterling Sachs), and RiverCity Rock Academy’s RC Royals. Also on Sunday is a special “Vegan and a Butcher Do Brunch,” from 10 – 2pm. All shows at The Space are always all ages until 9:55pm.

Each show is $10 each. You can get a multi-pass for $50 that gets you into all three shows AND brunch. There’s your weekend.

Congratulations to The Space, and a big thank you as well. They’ve worked tirelessly to provide Salem with a truly unique venue. Find yourself in their orbit and find out what the buzz is about.