After suffering through three weeks of withdrawal from the bro-downs the well-established west side music venue The Milestone has become famous for offering, the renovation and sanitation is complete and Dec. 12 marked the grand re-opening of the spot under the new ownership of Jonathan Hughes.
Since I've grown up going to the Milestone, I couldnt even think about missing my first opportunity to witness the changes resulting from almost a months blood, sweat and love. And wow, it was completely baffling to walk into a place I have been countless times before and have to do a double-take.
For the first time ever, I can honestly say that the Milestone is clean. Yes, I said it: The Ghetto Fortress is clean. I wouldnt go as far to say it's safe to sit on the toilet or roll around on the floor (as I have seen many drunken people try before), but by Lord the prized graffiti adorning the walls is no longer covered in layers of ancient filth. And the bathrooms seem to have lost their permanent smell of stale urine. In fact, the air felt fresh and moderately sterile, truly reminiscent of the new chapter this historic establishment has ahead of it.
Despite the fresh appearances, not much else seemed different since this great change of hands. Doors still opened at 8 p.m., and the show started roughly at 9 p.m.; Andy the Doorbum was still there to greet you; and there was still awesome music from regular acts: Blossoms, The Young, Quiet Hooves, Whatever Brains and Yardwork. Joyful faces of loyal patrons and show-goers lined the bar and stage, drinking, dancing and celebrating the fresh start and shocking cleanliness of a well-loved and appreciated venue. (A venue so appreciated that students sat studying for their upcoming finals in between taking ganders at performances and laughing with friends.)
By the end of the night, it was so packed that it became difficult to navigate through the crowd. I must say, although it was very sad to see Neal MF Harper turn in his hat, the Milestone era that lies ahead appears just as amazing as the one before it.