Setting the Stage: New venue and bar coming to Dekalb Market Hall

Cheers: Visitors at a preview night toasted to Understudy, a new bar set to open in February in Dekalb Market Hall.
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Get ready to get down!

A new performance space and a new cocktail bar will open soon in the sprawling food market beneath Downtown’s City Point. The founder of the Dekalb Market Hall, which hosts about 40 different food stalls, said that the two new spots will offer even more reasons to visit the giant underground market.

“Dekalb is about food, it’s about entertainment, it’s about fun, and in this day and age we could use a little more of it,” said Anna Castellani.

The performance space, dubbed “Dekalb Stage” is a simple, large room filled with picnic tables, with a platform raised about two feet off the floor at one end. During the day, the performance space will provide plenty of much-needed seating for lunchtime visitors to the food hall, with spots for 250 people.

Starting at the end of the this month, it will provide a variety of free and ticketed programs in the evenings, with regular weekly events including a “Drink ‘n’ Draw” on Monday nights, “Geeks Who Drink” trivia on Tuesdays, and the stand-up comedy show “Thirst Trap” with host Anya Volz on Thursdays, in addition to planned music events, dance parties, and afternoon events for kids.

The adjoining bar, “Understudy,” is set to open in early February. The mixology den resembles a vintage subway station, with black-and-white tiles on the wall and round globes glowing from poles. But the sound of cocktail shakers, and a series of red glowing balls overhead dismiss that feeling at a preview event. The new drinks spot will fill a much needed niche for local drinkers, Castellani said.

“This is something new,” she said. “A cozy cocktail bar, where you can have a quiet conversation — we didn’t have it, and the neighborhood didn’t have it.”

Understudy will serve a variety of natural wines, locally brewed beer, and cocktails — including an interesting dark rum variant on the Brooklyn Cocktail — along with snacks from a rotating selection of Market Hall vendors.

Visit Dekalb Stage and Understudy (445 Albee Square West between Fulton and Willoughby streets Downtown, Opening soon.

Reach arts editor Bill Roundy at or by calling (718) 260–4507.
Posted 12:00 am, January 25, 2019
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