It’s hard to believe it’s been three years since Jed Simon opened his Old Greenwich Social Club in the space formerly occupied by MacKenzie’s Grill Room on Sound Beach Ave.
Many longtime Greenwich residents have fond memories of listening to live bands there.
Toward that end, longtime Greenwich resident Felix Guiffra had an idea.
Felix, a percussionist who graduated Greenwich High School in 2000, had been collaborating with Hernan Donoso who also graduated GHS in 2000, and director Kyle Silver at Arch Street Teen Center on a project called The Arch Street Collective to showcase local bands.
Over an iced coffee with Jane Southard and Jed on Tuesday at Old Greenwich Social Club, Felix said idea the Arch Street Collective was born when a new studio was donated.
Felix said Greenwich Music owner Joe Summa came on board as a sponsor. “He donated a brand new digital recorder so we were able to record our shows. That’s the tie-in between the stage and studio. A lot of equipment for the studio did double-duty for the live space.”
But, when the summer slowdown hit the Teen Center in June, Felix searched his mind for a new venue.
“I used to play here when it was MacKenzie’s,” Felix explained, gesturing to the corner of Old Greenwich Social Club where bands used to play. “Then I found out from Hernan that Jed is the owner.”
Jed graduated GHS in 2001, and like Felix, he developed an interest in hockey there.
“Jed was already starting to feature live bands here,” Felix said. “So I suggested moving the Arch Street Collective to Old Greenwich.”
Jed embraced the idea and in June the first Arch Street Collective event took place.
“We like to support local bands and have them perform on a Sunday evening,” Jed said.
This Sunday, July 15, the Arch Street Collective will reprise the musical showcase featuring ten bands. Each band will play a few songs beginning at 7:00pm with and acoustic performance by Two Bald Crew featuring Felix and André Soto.
The Old Greenwich Social Club is a fitting venue for live bands. Jed removes four tables and sets up the bands in the center of the restaurant rather than in the corner.
“People also have the option of cooling off on the patio,” he said. Indeed the patio has become a comfortable spot with strands of lanterns overhead and tomato vines slowly working their way into a canopy.
There is also a “social hour” from 3:00pm to 6:00pm seven days a week.
“Come for the social hour and stay for the bands,” Jed suggested, adding that there are several food, beer, wine and cocktails that are 50% off. (They are marked with a star on the menu).
This Sunday the lineup features Erik Rabasca of Light Warriors, Southwind Social Club, Jeffrey Velez, J and The B-Sides, Charlie Happylife and more.
Felix and André run a Facebook page for Arch Street Collective. (https://www.facebook.com/archstreetcollective/)
Anyone who’d like to perform at a Sunday Arch Street Collective showcase in the future is invited to email Felix and André at [email protected]