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SIOUX CITY | What do a quartet of musicians know about managing a a bar?

Well, if the musicians in question are Kelly Quinn, Nicki Quinn, Mitch Martin and Emily Martin, they had no doubt about The Marquee would look, sound and feel like.

They, along with a crew of renovators, hung up the new PA system, equipped the bars with liquor, decorated the walls, arranged tables and chairs while cleaning every nook and cranny of the 1225 Fourth St. property that was formerly home to The Chesterfield.

The Marquee finally opened its doors in May.

The idea to create a new music venue came about one night when Mitch stopped by Marty's Tap, a 1306 Court St. bar which Kelly and Nicki owned, along with Mac Dolan.

With beers in hand, Kelly and Mitch spoke about the topic intently, weighing out their options and trying to figure just how they could manage it.

It became clear that this was not just some pie-in-the-sky venture. Only after Kelly and Mitch scoped out the new floor plan in store that had been vacant since November 2016 did the cogs and gears start turning in their heads.

This could really work, they thought. So they brought it up to their wives. 

Being the voice of reason, Nicki was apprehensive at first.

"We have a lot on our plates right now with Marty's," she said. 

Knowing that her friends Mitch and Emily were on board made Nicki more comfortable with the idea of tackling another bar.

Once the lease was signed, the work and renovation began.

CARVING OUT A NEW IDENTITY

The new owners acknowledged that The Chesterfield was beloved by many people. Many area musicians saw it as a second home and were saddened when the venue closed its doors unexpectedly.

For Mitch and Emily Martin, the bar closure cut even deeper. The two had held their wedding reception at The Chesterfield.

But they know The Marquee isn't the second Chesterfield. Nor did they deliberately buy The Chesterfield.

"We are building a new brand, a new business in the location that The Chesterfield used to be," Kelly said. "That's the way we're looking at it. It was an open space for a bar and a great stage. Does it have a history of being a live music venue that we used to love? Yeah."

"(But) we wanted to do (things) the way we want to do it," he added. "(This is) a music venue ran by musicians."

Kelly played in the Kelly Quinn Band and is currently playing bass for Canadian Stranger with Mitch Martin.

Mitch is also a member of the Emily Johnson Band, which is headed by his wife Emily.

"We know what it's like to be a band coming to play," Mitch said. "We know how we want to be treated, so we'll treat 'em that way."

"We're going to treat our national acts and regional and local acts the same way," Emily said. "You're going to get the same respect."

The team hopes The Marquee is welcomed by all in the music scene. And they're confident in what The Marquee has to offer.

The space has a history of making connections between and being the birthplace for new bands in the area.

For many, it became a home away from home. Kelly hopes the same thing might happen to The Marquee.

"For a lot of bands, this is where they met or the first stage they played on," he said. "We want to give the new scene a home to grow up here. We want that for the new generation at The Marquee." 

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Food and Lifestyles reporter

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