Glow Nightclub bar managers Joey Crahan and Evan Cooper have come a long way from when they first met while bartending at Depot, a former bar in downtown Bellingham.
“We worked together until that place closed,” Crahan explained. “Then we worked at the Royal for a while before Evan moved to Portland.” Crahan continued to work at the Royal while exploring the option of creating a new bar. The building where Glow is located was empty until Crahan convinced the owner to turn it into a bar.
“After I figured out this new place would be opening, I wanted to get Evan back here to work with me,” Crahan added. “We wanted to turn it into a place were we’d want to hang out.” Crahan and Cooper immediately started by adding a handful of arcade machines, bright decorations, and hiring Nate Dufour, who they said is to Glow what Bo Jackson was to sports.
This August marks Glow’s second year in Bellingham. “There’s just something about allowing a band to have their first show,” Cooper said about the venue being inclusive. “It’s cool to see how supportive the music community can be.”
Both Cooper and Crahan are quick to admit their approach to booking music. “We really base our decision off the passion of the individual who approaches us,” Crahan said. “If someone is just visibly excited to perform here, we want to be able to offer them that opportunity.”
They cite DJ Einstein for being a major help in adding hip-hop performances to their bill, as well as Bellingham’s scene as a whole.
“Our biggest problem with putting on shows is that we both should have taken a class called ‘Soundsystems 101,’”said Crahan. “We basically blew every speaker when we started having music here.”
They noted how Glow’s enormous glass windows can be somewhat problematic for achieving the right sound for performers. Now, after some time has passed, they feel more capable at putting on live music. “It’s just something you figure out as you go,” Cooper added. “We’re still figuring it out.”
The stage has also grown since the venue opened. “It started as a small area for bands to play but now it’s grown into an actual stage,” said Cooper. “We’re always trying to improve our venue.”
Local bands aside, Glow is also interested in being a place for Seattle bands to make their Bellingham debut. “It’s kind of on the same level as local bands doing their first show because they’re new to the area,” said Crahan. “We’re happy to have them, we want them to feel welcome so they come back,” Cooper added.
Glow will continue to book a variety of performances, ranging from acoustic metal to hip-hop. “We’re just doing the best we can,” said Cooper. “We don’t want to get away from that.”
Glow is located at 202 E. Holly Street. For more information, visit glowbellingham.com, e-mail email@example.com or follow their Facebook page.