While it shares the same name and ownership, the new Grog Shop in many ways is a whole new club from the legendary Coventry rock hub that shuttered its doors after 11 years in July 2003. Located just down the street from its former digs, the new Grog Shop offers a newer, bigger experience from the moment you enter its twin glass doors. The space is roughly double the size of the old club’s cozy confines. A bigger stage is easier to see with all-around better sightlines, and improved sound and lighting systems should put a sharper edge on even the sloppiest rockers. Far from the delightful dive the old Grog Shop devolved into, the new venue features exposed brick walls, brightly painted red concrete support columns and a room-length bar.
Though the setting at the new Grog Shop may be a little different, the music won’t be. The same people that brought in bands ranging from Yo La Tengo, Rocket From the Crypt and the Flaming Lips when they were either up-and-coming or in their prime, continue to book some of the finest local and national acts flying under the mass mainstream radar. — Daniel Rivkin