The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A staple of downtown Bryan says goodbye

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Photo by File

The Grand Stafford Theater, a popular local entertainment venue, has closed. 

A popular venue in downtown Bryan closed its doors with a farewell concert on Thursday, Sept. 21.

The Grand Stafford, a place where old movies could be re-introduced and up-and-coming bands could get their start, was closed this past week. After years in the business, it seems many people have a personal memory about the music venue.
Senior marketing major Jamison Moore knew what kind of musical experiences could be enjoyed at the venue. As an intern for The Grand Stafford, he wanted to get his first performance of the music industry, and subsequently he was introduced to many types of music.

Although he witnessed many performances, Moore recalled his favorite memory at the venue was seeing American folk and country singer-songwriter, Sean McConnell.

“His set was an acoustic one so all you could hear was the guitar and his voice, which is the best kind of show at the Stafford,” Moore said.

Moore said The Grand Stafford’s walls are what gave its unique sound, which is in part why he was sad to see it close.

“That place seriously made you feel the music deep within you,” said Moore.

Leya Melendez, an employee of The Proudest Monkey restaurant in downtown Bryan, said she was sad that the first place in downtown she was introduced to, was now closing.

“As far as I know it’s always been there,” Melendez said. “It’s been a staple of downtown Bryan for a good last couple of years.”

However, seeing The Grand Stafford leave its spot next to The Proudest Monkey will not be the same for the restaurant’s customers, Melendez said.

“Every time they had shows like Rocky Horror or their cult classic movies,” Melendez said. “We definitely had people come in for lunch before and after for dinner. So it’s going to be a little sad to not have them so accessible.”

The music venue’s convenient location was its intended allure for attendance. The Grand Stafford offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of dining options within easy walking distance from the theater, according to its website.
Environmental studies junior and barista at Harvest coffee shop Gavin Wallace attended the farewell concert last Thursday. Wallace said he felt the concert created closure for TGS and its visitors.

“It was just a lot of history and just a lot of people coming together to have a good time,” Wallace said.

Accounting graduate student Michael Grover said he was introduced to The Grand Stafford during his first week as a freshman. He said when he attended his first concert there and enjoyed it.

“I just ran into a whole lot of people who really enjoyed music,” Grover said. “I was kind of blown away at how many amazing local bands, Bryan-College Station bands there were and just how friendly everybody was.”

Grover said he later convinced his ska band, a reggae based music genre — The Rotisserie Chickens — to check out the place he also considers a staple of his four years as an undergraduate student. Having never performed in Bryan-College Station, his bandmates were skeptical.

“The support we got from the people at The Grand Stafford was phenomenal,” Grover said. “It won my friends over in a heartbeat.”

According to Grover, the band was so excited about the venue that The Rotisserie Chickens began to play once every semester. He said performing there was a dream come true.

“It was all of the hospitality of College Station rolled into a music venue,” Grover said. “They always put the music first.”

Grover said the best part of playing at The Grand Stafford was the reactions they received.

“It wasn’t the building that made it great,” Grover said. “It was the amazing staff, bands and supportive Aggies.”

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