Story By Ken Gosselin, Hartford Courant; Video By Jim Altman, FOX CT
The planned opening of Infinity Music Hall and Bistro in downtown Hartford is the topic of conversation at many a city gathering this year, with plenty of talk about the boost the venue will give the city’s revitalization efforts.
Work is well underway — concrete was drying Wednesday on the mezzanine level — but Infinity Hall founder Dan Hincks said the venue at the Front Street entertainment district isn’t likely to open until June or July. That’s a month or two later than the most recent prediction of May.
We had some challenges in how everything would be designed,” Hincks said.
Infinity Hall is viewed as the linchpin of the entertainment district, which now includes the Spotlight movie theater and The Capital Grille.
Two other restaurants — Nix’s seafood restaurant and Ted’s Montana Grill — are under construction.
Hincks said the biggest challenge was a column that had to be moved because it was in the middle of the performance space.
“We had to jump through a lot of engineering hoops to get rid of the column so there would be no obstructive views,” Hincks said.
The $5.2 million project, including $1.3 million in state funding, is the second venue for Infinity, which opened in Norfolk in 2008.
In Hartford, the orchestra will accommodate about 400 people with traditional seating but more when set up with tables and chairs. The space also will be leased for private parties and other events and could be used without any seating.
An upper mezzanine level will add 95 seats with counter and table seating, Hincks said.
Hincks said he has not booked an opening night performer yet because a firm date has not been set. Infinity Hall has had continuing discussions with possible performers and is making commitments for this fall. He declined to identify any performers.
Hincks said Infinity plans to give the public a sneak peek of the venue soon.
Infinity intends to film musical performances periodically to show the evolution of construction. The public wouldn’t be invited to the performances, but short videos would be posted on youtube.com.
During a visit to the space Wednesday, Hincks said the Hartford community has been “extremely supportive” of the venture.
He pointed at the recently erected mezzanine level.
“Look at that steel,” Hincks said. “It’s the real deal.”