The new and improved Iron Horse.
Reminder Publishing photos by Ryan Feyre

NORTHAMPTON — The legendary Iron Horse Music Hall secured a much-coveted all-alcohol license just hours prior to its opening night on May 15.

The announcement, which came in the form of a “champagne-popping” social media post, comes almost three months after the venue received word from the Alcohol Beverages Control Commission that a liquor license could not be awarded to the Iron Horse until the previous owner — Eric Suher — submits Department of Revenue certificate of good standing to the state, which proves that he paid his taxes.

Despite this ruling, and after two months of wrangling with the state process, the Iron Horse now has the license, which means they can serve alcohol at the venue.

“There has been a lot of hard work by some great people to get the liquor license across the line,” said Randy Krotowski, the president of the Parlor Room Collective, the entity that now owns the Iron Horse. “I especially appreciate the efforts by [state] Sen. [Jo] Comerford the last two days, providing some extra encouragement to the ABCC and DOR to get the paperwork out the door.”

Krotowski told Reminder Publishing that the Iron Horse was “Bring Your Own Beer” just three hours before the grand opening show on May 15, but the venue avoided that policy right at the buzzer. Instead, the venue was able to stock the bar that night once the liquor license was obtained at City Hall.

“It’s been a crazy few days,” said Krotowski on the night of the grand opening.

The Iron Horse officially opened its doors on May 1 and spearheaded its first show on May 15 with a performance by Rachel Price & Vilray, with Taylor Ashton.

According to the venue’s website, there are around 80 shows scheduled from now until the end of the year and the Parlor Room Collective is continuing to announce new ones, regularly. The schedule features a wide variety of genres and vibes.

“It feels amazing,” said Krotowski, of having the venue open after a few years of dormancy.

Krotowski told Reminder Publishing that the renovations in the venue are “pretty much done” aside from a punch list of small items that will be addressed in the coming weeks.

The renovations include updated bathrooms, new furniture, a revamped seating layout, a new state-of-the-art sound and lighting system, a revamped menu courtesy of Easthampton’s Daily Operation, a redesigned bar and dining experience, plus much more.

The Parlor Room has spent the last several months spearheading a $750,000 capital campaign for the renovations and revival of the Iron Horse. According to its website, the venue is up to just over $590,000 in donations.

In February, Parlor Room Executive Director Chris Freeman told Reminder Publishing that the goal was to maintain the Iron Horse’s storied history while simultaneously making sure that the things that needed to be fixed, would be fixed.

“We’re not trying to put our own artistic vision in the place,” Freeman said at the time. “We’re just trying to bring it back in a healthy and accessible way while retaining the history, and giving the community a place where we can write an amazing future for the place.”

The grand opening comes months after Parlor Room Collective officially completed an agreement with Suher to purchase the Iron Horse Music Hall, which is located at 20 Center. St., in September.

Because the Iron Horse building is owned by Central Chambers Realty Trust, the Parlor Room Collective signed a lease for up to 15 years.

Readers can learn more about the upcoming shows by visiting the Iron Horse website: https://ironhorse.org/.

rfeyre@thereminder.com | + posts