The Labb Cooks Up Something Special Outside

Walking into The Labb on Oak Street, just off Denton's Courthouse-on-the-Square, you'd hardly guess that the space is a music venue. A space for DJ nights, maybe. But never a place for bands to play, much less touring ones.

Enter Bryan Denny. The main talent buyer for Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, Denny took over the same job at The Labb in January of this year, seven months after Andy Bostick of Andy's Bar and Lloyd Banks of Rockin' Rodeo bought the space.

"I've known Andy for a long time and told him years ago if he was ever interested in opening a bar or doing anything along these lines, I'd go in with him," Denny says.

Denny's arrival on the scene, along with new co-owner Kimberly Clements' buyout of Banks' share of the bar, came just before the 35 Conferette. The plan immediately became to turn The Labb into a space that could host shows, and quickly. Their goal was to turn the outside patio into a separate show space—one solely dedicated to such events, rather than infringing upon the sports bar and grill inside. The result was an outdoor stage sharing a building with a sports bar, and just in time for the space to be listed as an official 35 Conferette venue. This twofold capacity makes The Labb more versatile than most venues in Denton.

"It's a totally different scene out there than it is in here," says Denny, sitting on his patio on a recent afternoon.

He's right: Apart from boasting the oldest standing wall in Denton, the patio space also provides standing room for hundreds of showgoers, as well as an outdoor bar. Meanwhile, the 5,000-square-foot inside isn't something to shrug about either, and with a capacity of 299, it can still be used for DJ nights.

And though Denny still plans on booking Rubber Gloves while also handling his duties at The Labb, he says the two spots won't interfere with one another. If anything, he argues, they'll work in tandem to help the Denton music community as a whole.

"Even with doing the booking at Rubber Gloves, we were out on shows to Dallas because we didn't have the capacity," Denny says.

One problem, though: Currently, there's no PA set-up for the outside stage area. But that situation should be sorted out by July, Denny says. Until then, they are either renting PA's or using ones provided by bands.

Fortunately, the inside portion of the venue should be able to carry the weight until that time comes, thanks to a new DJ night called "Chemistry" that has been taking place each Thursday night at The Labb since the start of the spring semester.

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Rodrigo Diaz