Return to Outer Space

Shayla Lee Colon

Launched from the old time favorite, creators of The Outer Space are reviving the former venue and restyling it as The Space Ballroom. Managers Mark Nussbaum and Keith Mahler are happy to announce that the reopening of The Space Ballroom will be Friday, Feb. 2, in its original location at 295 Treadwell Street. The Space Ballroom will be a place where people can go listen to music and kick back.

As some may recall, The Outer Space was a popular music venue and home to local artists of Hamden. In December of 2017, it was briefly closed as owners announced their closing over Facebook.

“Finding the words for this post has not been easy, but we need to announce that our years of music, local bands, and open mics at The Space have come to a close,” Rodgers said. “As a family we are transitioning to a new phase of life, as our children get older and our family focus deepens, we are choosing a new path. We remain deeply grateful to our employees, volunteers, customers and friends who have poured themselves out for The Space over the years. We opened The (original) Space to bring people together, give the local bands a place to grow and to build a community. We hope and pray that was accomplished. Endings are always hard, this is not easy for us, but we know the next step is a hopeful one.”

However, that brief period of closing gave the owner of the establishment, Steve Rodgers, time to explore a new plan.

In that time, Nussbaum, a senior talent buyer at Premiere Concerts and agent with Manic Presents was booking shows at The Space Ballroom with his colleague Mahler prior to the short hiatus and didn’t want to see the glory come to an end.

“It was an opportunity we were faced with,” Mahler said. After the two put their heads together, they re-created The Space Ballroom in accordance with what Rodgers had dreamed it to be.

“It will have a much more aggressive booking schedule and all types of music genres,” Mahler said.

On one of the final closing nights of The Outer Space, two high school teachers saw the same opportunity and decided to chase some unfulfilled dreams of theirs. Teachers Karen Robinson and Chris Scionti had similar hopes to one day run a place like The Outer Space. Now, they too will be reviving a piece of The Outer Space in addition to Mahler and Nussbaum by creating a similar venue on the same complex.

Both parties are following the tradition of supporting local music, and making the complex a place where people of all ages can tune in. While The Space will be opening this coming week, Robinson and Scionti plan to open their venue in April or May.

The Space Ballroom will be designed as more than a concert venue, but a bar and restaurant as well. The building is still in the process of being refurbished and cleaned up, but will be open for operation this Friday.

With the word being spread about the reopening, Quinnipiac students are also excited to see The Space Ballroom coming back to life.

Joe DeRosa is looking forward to getting a memorable experience from The Space Ballroom.

“I respect the venue, but going in there it definitely seemed like it had seen better days just in terms of the quality of the place, like it seemed a little run down,” DeRosa said. “That being said, it was still fully functional, but I think new ownership is going to make it even better.”

The Quinnipiac radio station used to host events there in addition to attend concerts. The cooperation between the university and The Space Ballroom is another aspect that will be renewed with its opening. Quinnipiac senior, Tatyana Youssef is not a stranger to The Space and like other upperclassmen is happy to hear about the reopening.

“The Space in Hamden is a place I wish I’ve been to much earlier in college,” Youssef said. “The atmosphere is so relaxing , artistic and welcoming. Everyone is individualistic and comes together for music, what’s better than that?”

The owners see no sign of permanent closing in the venue’s future.

“I expect to see everybody there and a very long life for the venue,” Mahler said.