First Ave opens burger joint, renames the VIP Room

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March 15, 2010 // UPDATED 1:57 pm - March 25, 2010
By: Gregory J. Scott
Gregory J. Scott
What do you get a rock club for its 40th anniversary? How about a “Diamond Dog,” a quarter pound, all-beef hotdog, wrapped with pepper bacon and deep-fried on a pretzel bun?

First Ave, one of the oldest music venues in the country, turns 40 on April 3. And as part of its birthday celebrations, the club will open the Depot Tavern, its long-awaited burger joint that since last spring has been slated to take over the former Unbank property on 7th St. The Depot Tavern will open sometime this May, and officials have been touting the Diamond Dog as its signature menu item.

The Tavern will be a neighborhood bar, offering a menu that sticks to pub staples like grilled cheese sandwiches, french fries, cheese curds and burgers. It will keep regular daytime hours, and concertgoers will be able to purchase tickets there outside of First Avenue’s hours of operation. A spokesperson for First Ave said that the kitchen would also stay open late into the evening, so that concertgoers can grab food on their way out of a show. “It’ll basically be the last place that we close,” she said.

The Depot’s name honors the history of the venue, which initially opened in 1937 as a Greyhound Bus depot.

In addition to the Tavern, First Ave has also announced plans to renovate the VIP Room, which will be renamed The Record Room. Local artist Greg Gossel has been selected to create a large indoor mural for the revamped space. The Record Room’s launch party goes down on April 4, with DJ set from Passion Pit, the Moon Goons, Ricky Biggs and others.

First Ave’s official 40th birthday party is slated for April 2 and 3, with a pair of sold-out Spoon shows in the Mainroom and its standard dance nights Get Cryphy (on April 2) and Too Much Love (April 3).