First Peek: Opening night at Rhythm and Rye in Olympia

By Nikki McCoy on March 27, 2014

Less than a week's time turn-around after ownership changed hands from The Royal Lounge to Rhythm and Rye, the venue brought in a packed house both nights of its opening weekend. Last Friday night, lines were around the block and people actually had to be turned away at the door due to full capacity.

"The last time I saw a crowd that big was Frank Black at the Eastside Tavern ten years ago," says owner/booker Andy Geertsen. "That was also the last time I even heard of a line around the block in Oly."

Hillstomp and Oly Mountain boys shook the crowd with their knee-slapping music. The audience was stoked, sound quality was great and even the bartenders, who had never worked together prior to that night, shook their booties between pours of Lucille IPA and whiskey Cokes.

EZ Foods served pulled pork sandwiches and veggie wraps through the new service window in the back room. Besides the occasional spilled beer and running out of tall cans of Rainer - which Hillstomp made sure to congratulation Geertsen on - the night went off without a hitch. Olympia Police Department even made an appearance, no doubt bored on their beat and wanting to check out some good music.

Saturday night was just as packed inside the bar with the grooves of The Brown Edition and DBST.

Word on the street is this venue is just what Olympia needed.

"We love you Andy!" says one Facebook fan. "Thanks for giving all of us music lovers a home again!"

Up next at Rhythm and Rye is Championship Friday night with special guests Ol' Mount n Dew followed by Rock Candy Burlesque's 2nd Anniversary party Saturday.

Rhythm and Rye is at 311 Capitol Way N. in downtown Olympia. Students with valid ID receive discounts at all shows. For updates and events, check out


Rhythm and Rye opens in Olympia