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Historic Queen's in downtown Barrie starts to liven things up with live music

'For us, (live music) may bring in some customers we’ve never had before and it helps to broaden our horizons a little bit,' says manager

The Queen’s has been part of the downtown Barrie landscape since the mid-1800s and continues to be one of the go-to places for those looking for food and drink.

Now, they can get live music as well.

Manager Darrell Staveley says that, coming out of the lockdown stage of COVID-19, the Dunlop Street East establishment wanted to try some new things.

“Obviously, lockdowns sucked, but we used that time to make this place better," he tells BarrieToday. "In this industry, you never have the time to do the things that need done, so we utilized this time to do some renovations, revamp the menu and just add some things to improve the place."

With many restaurants relying on patio service, Staveley said a wall was knocked down and both back patios are bigger now.

But the addition of live music is the very appealing part to the Queen’s, which has long been known for people getting out to dance.

Live music began last week at the Queen’s and Staveley says it's definitely new for them, but worth the risk.

“You have to try new things to keep going, especially after what we’ve all just been through,” he says. “For us, it may bring in some customers we’ve never had before and it helps to broaden our horizons a little bit.”

The idea came from local concert promoter Gillian Dorella-Scott, who not only works at a music store in Barrie, but has been booking live music in the city for 16 years.

“I am so thankful to have live music back and a new home to do it in,” Dorella-Scott tells BarrieToday. “The Queen's have done so much hard work for us to be able to do shows there.

"There is a brand new stage that they made for us with sound and lights, it's so perfect," she says. 

Shows happen from Sunday to Thursday nights and, at the moment, 96 people are allowed to be inside watching the show.

"Once that goes up, it will be a cap of over 300, which is very exciting," Dorella-Scott says.

Any musicial acts looking to play at the Queen’s can email Dorella-Scott at puregrainpromogillian@gmail.com.