Oct 20, 2019
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Photo courtesy of Frank's Place Frank's Place is adjacent to Warnors Theatre and is located at 1432 Fulton St. in Downtown Fresno.

‘Frank’s Place’ brings the music

Photo courtesy of Frank's Place Frank's Place is adjacent to Warnors Theatre and is located at 1432 Fulton St. in Downtown Fresno.

Photo courtesy of Frank’s Place
Frank’s Place is adjacent to Warnors Theatre and is located at 1432 Fulton St. in Downtown Fresno.

 

By Taleesha Jenkins

Special to The Collegian

 

Nightclub in Downtown Fresno has old-school look and local music that runs the gamut

There’s a place in Fresno where those interested in music can go and see local performers rock the night.

Located in Downtown Fresno adjacent to the Warnors Theatre, Frank’s Place is a stylish nightclub operated by the nonprofit organization Warnors Center for the Performing Arts.

“It’s an old-time nightclub look with the polished black and white floors, this inset stage, the nice neutral theater-style curtains in the back and the lights,” said music coordinator Steve Ono. “It’s really a nice look.”

The 5,488-square-foot venue holds 225 guests seated and has standing room for 350 guests.

Ono calls the venue an “emerging staple” in the Fresno music scene. He said weekly events allow local musicians to take the stage and display their talents.

“The idea that the executive director, Dan Fitzpatrick, and I discussed is kind of an incubator center for performing musicians and artists,” said Ono.

He said featured artists at Frank’s Place come from an array of musical genres.

“We’ve run from folk singers to heavy-metal rock bands,” said Ono.

Also included, Ono said, is classical, jazz, burlesque, goth, tribute bands, cover bands, rock-original bands, hip-hop and bluegrass.

Every Thursday, there is a showcase of various musical performances at the Downtown venue. Ono said the first Thursday is a folk-music orientated showcase associated with

“ArtHop,” an event for local artists and art enthusiasts. He said the second Thursday is associated with “Jazz Hop,” an event for local jazz artists and jazz enthusiasts, where jazz musicians take the stage and perform.

The third Thursday, Ono said, is open-mic night where solo artists or groups come and perform music from a variety of genres. He said the fourth Thursday is dedicated to alternative rock.

Ono believes these showcases give local artists a place to express themselves and practice their craft.

“One of the ideas behind the Thursday showcase is the idea of having a place where people can come and perform in a relatively professional environment,” he said. “It’s not the stage at the theater, but it is a stage with lights and a production assistant.”

David J. Mendoza, a local singer and songwriter, said he uses Frank’s Place as a way to be seen and heard.

“It helps to get exposure in the Fresno area,” said Mendoza. “As an artist, you have to start where you are.”

As well as a platform for artists, Ono called Frank’s Place a setting where Fresno residents can come and enjoy local talent. Although the crowds vary night to night depending on the music, Ono strongly encouraged college students to come out and show support.

Head bartender Micah Fisher described the crowds as usually older.

“I think a lot of people aren’t aware of this place,” said Fisher. “They think ‘Downtown Fresno, oh, big scary place,’ but it’s really not a bad part of town.

“Those who come out here are just like, ‘oh, it’s awesome.’”

Ono said while some may not care for Downtown, he believes the area is the closest thing to an epicenter for entertainment in the Valley.

“It could be a place where people could come and party and have fun,” said Ono. “But people have to give Downtown and venues like Frank’s Place a chance.”

“It’s [Frank’s Place] just one of those hidden gems that hasn’t been discovered yet,” said Fisher.

Ono also encourages local musicians to come and perform at Frank’s Place.

“If you’re ready to step out onto a bigger stage with lights and actually do a ‘show show,’ that’s what we’re really about.”

People interested in performing at Frank’s Place can contact the Warnor’s box office or Steve Ono at onomuse@gmail.com. For more information, you can search Frank’s Place on Facebook for upcoming events.

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