Searching for a high-quality cocktail bar with live music that you’d otherwise have to travel into Philly to find? Your pursuit will end here with the grand opening of Sprout Music Collective, a new music venue and bar located on 130 E. Prescott Alley right here in West Chester. Owner Dan Cellucci states, “We go heavy with our own fusions, bitters, and heavy cocktails that you definitely won’t find in West Chester besides our place. You kind of have to travel into Philly to find a bar doing the same type of cocktails we’re doing.”
Sprout is also a sister to the popular Roots Café (located at 133 E Gay St.), an establishment also owned by Cellucci that serves local, organic, and sustainable food to their guests. However, “Sprout” is aiming to put more emphasis on the live music aspect compared to “Roots,” which is more of a formal food business establishment. “[“Sprout”] is definitely geared towards music,” Cellucci explains. “It’s basically a 150-person max capacity room that’s pretty intimate and small. The stage is quite large, and then there’s a nice little dance floor. Everything is kind of geared as having the stage as a focal point.”
Formerly there was The Note, which most who live in West Chester will remember has since closed down. While “Sprout” is somewhat reminiscent of that bar and venue, Cellucci claims that Sprout is more in line with Philadelphia’s The Tin Angel or Boot & Saddle. He reiterates, “It’s basically a 150-person max capacity room.”
Guests shouldn’t be worried about fitting a certain demographic either since the age range can fluctuate drastically depending on the night. Cellucci points out, “We just get such a wide variety depending on the music we’re doing. Some nights we’ll do jazz, and then on that night, it will be anyone aged 40 and up. Then some nights we’ll do a reggae band, that was our opening night actually, and everyone’s age varied from 22 to 60.” This past Halloween, “Sprout” threw a party featuring the psychedelic, gypsy folk group The Late Saints, a group Cellucci stated was sure to “draw in a younger crowd.”
If good food is a prerequisite, you needn’t worry. “Sprout” is devoted to keeping in line with their sister restaurant, “Roots’” philosophy by offering top quality, seasonal, organic ingredients that are bought directly from local farms, all of course using sustainable methods and subsequently tying into the community and supporting the local economy. “It’s not your standard chicken fingers and fries,” says Cellucci. “I’d refer to it as seasonal-farmed table bar snacks. You have sandwich’s, snacks and popcorn, but we also have things like meatballs and venison which we get from local hunters, although it’s certainly still a bar menu.” In addition to those savory edibles, “Sprout” food menu offers mouthwatering appetizers such as Hickory Smoked Duck Breast Flatbread , Slow Roasted Brisket, A Pickled Veggie Board, a board of assorted cheeses, and much more.
For drinks, there’s a rotating selection of quality beers and fine wines. And to an even greater extent, “Sprout” strongly focuses on the inventiveness and near artistry of their cocktail selection. Such beverages include: “A Root Down,” an orange-infused dark rum sweetened with molasses and spiced with house warm liquor. There is also “Birds & Bees,” a berry-infused purus vodka with added honey and hempseed bitters. “Up In Smoke,” contains Jim Beam Black Bourbon coupled with Laphroaig Scotch sweetened with added maple. Needless to say, they’ve got a wide menu selection for guests who are undecided on what drink to order.
“Sprout” is also associated with West Chester University’s music department and is actively looking for musicians to play their weekly jazz and prohibition, cocktail themed night. Cellucci admits, “We are looking to book professionals,, people who take it as a job. If it’s not their first job then it’s definitely up there on their priority list and they’re professional musicians.” He adds, “What we’re doing is actually trying to steer away from cover bands. Whereas the town usually wants them,. ‘Sprout’ is the opposite end of that.”
Sprout Music Collective links live music entertainment, and culinary arts. If you’re in town, stop by for some easygoing tunes and top of the line, quality sourced food. The next couple of nights’ line-up of events will spotlight “Old Arrows, Mike Cummings, Tyler McClure” (Nov. 5th) , “The Jost Project” (Nov. 6th), “Lovebettie” (Nov. 7th), and “Whiskeyhicken Boys” (Nov. 8th).
Rob Gabe is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at RG770214@wcupa.edu.