The Nashville folk-pop duo Freddy & Francine will soon be hitting the stage at the newly opened FireHouse Gastro Park in Grand Prairie. The music venue-restaurant-coffee bar combo held its grand opening earlier this month, but the duo’s show on June 1 will mark the first performance on the spot’s completed Infinity Sound Stage.
FireHouse Gastro Park is a creation by Los Angeles business owners Jason and Carlee Smith. In collaboration with Rouch Architecture, the couple has embedded their LA roots into the aesthetic of their new business. With the help of Infinity Sound, a sound and lighting company in Grand Prairie, and live music producer Zach Balch, the team is also aiming to create an artist-first atmosphere that encourages their patrons to dial in to each performance.
Balch says he took this model from venues in Dallas, such as The Kessler Theater and Opening Bell Coffee. The stage at FireHouse Gastro Park is set low to the ground to help concertgoers better connect with performers, similar to these Dallas venues.
“We want you to be engaged in this,” Balch says. “We want you to feel like you're a part of this experience, rather than just passively consuming it. It’s designed to put (artists) in front of an audience that they can build a relationship with.”
While the Grand Prairie venue’s first show will feature folks from out of town, the space could become a new home away from home for Dallas-Fort Worth bands and solo acts. Balch says he is planning to pack a bunch of bills with performers from the area.
Balch says that while there are many good venues in Dallas, Fort Worth and Denton, he wants FireHouse Gastro Park to be a meeting ground for artists from these three Texas music meccas.
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“Having some really good venues in the middle where some of those communities can be in a neutral turf is really cool,” he says. “Maybe over time, that’ll encourage more artists to move to somewhere like Grand Prairie because it’s so equidistant from those really good music scenes.”
To match the demographic of the venue, a good portion of which have been families, Balch says, the shows at FireHouse Gastro Park will start and end earlier in the evening. Additionally, the performances will be family-friendly. Other than this qualifier, the lineups at the venue will be pretty no-holds-barred, as Balch is open to book acts of all genres.
“Hip-hop? Cool. Rock and Roll, Americana? Awesome,” Balch says. “If you can do it, then let’s roll.”
FireHouse Gastro Park, 321 W. Main St., Grand Prairie