If Chris Jamieson, the manager of Radiopark music room, looks familiar to some University of Calgary students, it's probably because they've spent far too much time at the Den. The manager of the new live music venue found his calling while working at the beloved campus bar.
"Working at the Den influenced who I am in many ways -- not the least of which is my style and approach to hospitality," he says. "I think it speaks volumes about the Den to say that it is a safe, friendly, comfortable place where university students can go and be themselves and I certainly wanted [that] to stand true in any establishment that I direct."
The space itself is unpretentious, with two banks of television screens blasting shows like Entourage as well as candy-coloured '80s cartoons like The Legend of Zelda, He-Man and Dungeons and Dragons.
"We want Radiopark to be somewhere people feel comfort first and foremost," explains Jamieson. "We want people to have fun, be themselves and enjoy some great music, but we feel that in order to do so you need to be at ease, that's why comfort is the biggest thing. Everything about the room and the concept has been tailored to make the place down to earth and accessible."
Getting bands on stage is one of the key things that Jamieson and his managing partner, Elena Remoundos, are setting out to do with the venue. So far, booking has been focused on local acts, with rapper Ricca Razor Sharp and punk rockers Madcowboys taking to Radiopark's stage.
"We are committed to running live original music every week and in most cases have two or three bands lined up," says Jamieson. "For now they are mostly local acts but [we] have already had a lot of attention from groups touring and will likely have our first visiting act soon."
Remoundos, who acts as the booker, also has a history with the famous, long-lamented Night Gallery. The Gallery -- the birthplace of Tubby Dog and Moustache Rock -- has influenced Remoundos' vision of what the venue can hope to achieve.
"The Night Gallery was definitely a huge part of my life," she explains. "I have such great memories and made so many great friends at the Gallery. The atmosphere and the feeling of belonging no matter what are definitely reasons why I kept on going back."