Revamped Maxwell’s will be reborn Dec. 12

Waterloo Region Record

By Paige Desmond

WATERLOO — After more than a year’s delay due to legal challenges and construction, Maxwell’s Concerts and Events will reopen Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. on University Avenue.

“We’re very excited to showcase what we’ve been working on so hard for the last year and a half,” owner Paul Maxwell said.

The original plan was to open the new facility last fall.

The Waterloo concert venue used to operate at 220 King St. N. but was given a rezoning approval from the City of Waterloo in June 2013 for the new location at 35 University Ave., between Regina Street and Weber Street North.

That was appealed at the Ontario Municipal Board, which decides land planning disputes, by a nearby developer concerned about parking capacity.

In January the board sided with the city and Maxwell’s was cleared to go ahead.

Maxwell said there was then a waiting period of a few months for site plan approval from the city.

The construction process also threw a few surprises into the mix.

“One of the big ones was understanding really how much heating and cooling was required to change from a pool hall to a performance space,” Maxwell said. “The other surprises were just day-to-day problem solving.”

And the budget?

“Most of the time you never stay within your budget when you’re doing something like this,” Maxwell said. “We tried to stay as tight to budget as we could.”

But after starting the original concert venue when he was just out of university and working on a shoestring budget, Maxwell said he wanted to do everything right the first time at the new location.

“We really stepped it up in terms of quality and overall customer experience,” he said.

Now that work is done though, Maxwell and partners Jay Taylor and Dave Mansell are ready to unveil the fully renovated building, which has space for up to 900 people standing or 300 people sitting.

At the grand opening, the new Maxwell’s house band, led by Ben Rollo, will give its first performance. Rollo is the son of Randy Rollo, who founded the house band at Kitchener’s legendary Lulu’s Roadhouse, Maxwell said.

Anyone attending the grand opening can expect to hear announcements throughout the evening about upcoming shows.

Doors open at 7 p.m. and the free event is for ages 19 and older.

Music lessons and camps, previously offered at the old Maxwell’s location, have moved to School of Rock at 78 Francis St. in Kitchener. , Twitter: @DesmondRecord

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