Over the last year we have been very fortunate to have a huge amount of support for Bar XIII’s transformation. While the address is the same, very little remains of the old Mojo 13 and its ominous clown. Instead, our new and improved venue stands very much on its own under the watchful eye of a playful devil.
This transformation happened because of one thing: COMMUNITY. We can’t, and won’t, forget that. From the people who helped tear down the ceilings, nail boards to the walls, paint, and so much more; it was our community, under the guidance of the Collective Vision Design Studio, who built our new home. It is that community that we seek to serve. While we are still a prime concert and event venue on Friday and Saturday nights, our weeknight events are designed to make sure our community has a place to call home on just about any night of the week. Whether you are interested in comedy, karaoke, open mic, or just a good barbeque with friends, you can find it here. We have also welcomed the addition of the Plum Pit food truck service and the great added service they bring to our events; the community wanted food available at the venue, so we brought it to you! When you take care of your community, your community will take care of you.
In talking about how seriously we take our community’s feedback, let’s talk about the kind of music we cater to at Bar XIII. Shortly after we bought the bar, the News Journal featured our venue and talked a bit about both the history of the location (as Mojo 13) and what our vision was for Bar XIII. Based on the comments we received, it became clear that readers were under the impression that we planned to drastically change what fans of Mojo 13 were used to, and steer away from metal shows. This is absolutely not the case. Bar XIII’s vision is to embrace the metal roots of our predecessor and protect metal as a genre by giving it a place to call home in Delaware. We will absolutely continue to branch out into other areas as our community demands it (punk, industrial, and even some country and old school hip-hop), but the metal music genre will remain a strong influence for the live music you see at Bar XIII both now and in the years to come.
In looking for new and varied talent to perform at Bar XIII, probably the biggest challenge that we have faced is actually the professional transition for Matthew Jester and Heather Warr. Coming from a promotion background, it’s natural to think that their role as owners is very similar. The reality, however, is that for the bar to maintain solid management practices, Matthew and Heather have had to shift their roles and focus on supporting and mentoring new promoters for bar events. The good news is that this is helping to enlarge our community even more, and what’s more, it takes the emphasis away from the perception that Bar XIII and Asylum13 are the same, because they aren’t. The new spirit of Bar XIII was born from the creative process that spawned Asylum 13, but Asylum 13 is a Thursday night adventure. As open and accepting as we are of the kinky fun that Asylum 13 offers it’s “inmates,” that kind of fun is reserved only for Thursday nights, and for any events specifically designated as “Asylum 13” events. Even as we speak, Bar XIII is looking for promising individuals who are interested in event promotion; whether you have experience, or are willing to learn, we are always looking for opportunities to expand our opportunities.
Bar XIII’s success is a collaborative effort by the owners, staff, promoters, and the community. Without each and every piece in place, the machine could not run as effectively as we are running it. The last year has been a whirlwind. Visually, the bar is barely recognizable as the same building that housed Mojo 13. To name just a handful of the renovations we’ve completed, there is new flooring, remodeled walls with fresh paint and wallboard, exposed beam ceiling, and brand new state of art lights both for the bar as well for the stage and dance floor. The goal was not just to bring the building up to code, but to set the bar higher and aim to make it a competitively equipped venue even by the highest professional standards.
As we continue to grow and change with the times, the one thing that we hope never changes is the heart of our community. The love and effort shown by our community is by and large the main reason for our success. So as we push through our second year as Bar XIII, we want to say thank you. Keep doing the awesome things you do, and we will keep making Bar XIII your home away from home.