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Rhythm and Rye opens in Olympia

Andy Geertsen takes over The Royal Lounge space, beefs up whiskeys

Andy Geertsen brings Rhythm and Rye to Olympia's Capitol Way. Photo credit: Winter Teems

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Andy Geertsen has spent the last 13 years in Olympia doing what he loves - booking shows and bringing music to the masses. A bartender by trade, this former trumpet player has an ear for great bands and a dedication to the music scene that has earned him an awesome reputation in the community.

Now, he gets to take that experience to a new level. Geertsen will take over the space that, until just recently, housed The Royal Lounge at 311 Capitol Way N. in downtown Olympia.

The new venue will be called Rhythm and Rye and will feature a weekly rotation of live music, starting with an opening night special on Friday, March 21 with Hillstomp and Oly Mountain Boys. The following Saturday brings DBST and The Brown Edition.

"We're just going to bang it out - hopefully the paint is dry before we peel it off the walls," Geertsen chuckled.

He estimates booking about 100 shows a year in Olympia, and he has connections up and down the coast. He will continue with the Monday night jazz that The Royal hosted and will include a Thursday night jazz jam, too. Sunday will be rootsy blues. The weekends will be filled with metal, bluegrass, rock, dance and more. ("Olympia favorites," said Geertsen.) Rhythm and Rye will also be available as a performance space - Rock Candy Burlesque is already on the calendar.

"There's huge community support" Geertsen said. "That's what gives me the courage to do this."

A work-in-progress, the 4,800-square-foot space is going to get a bit of a makeover. A pool table, a paint job and a few furniture changes are in the works as well as modifications to improve sound quality. Geertsen also plans to add a legit dance floor.

"It's so much better for dancers' feet," he said. "I'm going to warm that room up and make it comfortable and cozy."

Rhythm and Rye will have 12 beers on tap including Lucille, a Georgetown IPA and Olympia beer, and Geertsen says he's working with local experts on a cocktail menu and whiskey selection.

"It's going to have a good whiskey selection," he said, "but music will be the most important thing."

RHYTHM AND RYE, 311 Capitol Way N, Olympia, students with valid ID receive discounts at all shows, updates and events:

Fun Fact: Andy Geertsen played trumpet on track 9 of Dirty Bird's album, Plum Crazy.

See Also

Andy Geertsen named Best Music Booker in Olympia for 2014

Andy Geertsen named Best Bartender in Olympia for 2012

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