Hodi’s Half Note, bar and music venue in Fort Collins, is under new management and despite recent rumors is not up for sale or going under. The venue has been one of the few sources of exposure for smaller bands on the rise for many years in Fort Collins and this tradition is being revamped.
“We’re not going under; everything is fine. We’re back on our feet,” said Dan Mladenik, the new sole-owner of Hodi’s.
To celebrate the venue’s changes, a grand re-opening event is taking place Thursday, January 24th, featuring the band Dave Watts and Friends (which includes members of The Motet and Juno What?!) and special guests. The cost is $5 at the door and there will be two free kegs donated by New Belgium for the first people to arrive. Also look for all kinds of New Belgium and Hodi’s swag, raffles, and cheap drink specials.
Hodi’s was most recently owned by three partners and as such any decision-making had to be done as a consensus between them, which Mladenik explained could be difficult and time consuming. Eventually two of the owners decided they were burned out and ready to move on in other directions and voted to put the bar up for sale.
But Mladenik, who had been a regular at Hodi’s since he moved into town in 2003, wasn’t ready to part with what was for him the heart of the local music scene and opted to buy out the other two partners and run the bar by himself.
Along with the change in ownership, everyone can look forward to being served by an all new staff including bartenders, managers, and security, all of whom were hired to make the atmosphere for musicians and customers feel more welcoming, correcting some past mistreatment by old staff members.
“There were some issues with the old staff, and the treatment of patrons and bands,” Mladenik said. “We’re just getting rid of some of that negative energy.”
Another area Mladenik wanted to change was the idea that Hodi’s is simply a music venue. He wants everyone to feel welcome on any night of the week, whether your best friend’s band is opening for The Motet, to hear some hilarious open-mic comedy, or even just to chill out with a beer.
“We’re trying to get it to where we’re not just a place where people will only come to see a really good band. We want people to come for the drink specials, the atmosphere, stuff like that,” he said.
Mladenik explained how many bands got their start at Hodi’s and went on to play bigger venues in Denver and on tour. He feels his venue is the heart of the local music scene.
“I’ve always loved the sound there, it’s always really clear,” said Jon Miguel, drummer for Greeley band Ashida. “We had a good time. The atmosphere of the place is good, I like it.”
Hodi’s has hosted bands such as Ween, Misfits and Trampled By Turtles when they were still just beginning to garner the massive followings they have now. And local bands like the Kyle Hollingsworth Band and Head For The Hills, who are now playing larger venues in the area have graced the stage in their early days as well.
“We’ve had so many different caliber of artist, whether they’re local artists or out of town artists,” he said.
They’re always open to any genre of music, from punk rock to funk jam to hip-hop to electronic, and even stand up comedy, live performance has a home under the Half Note. For people like Mladenik, Hodi’s is a local tradition for the area and it isn’t going anywhere.
“The Aggie isn’t gonna book anything that can’t bring 400-500 people and that is why we are here and must continue to be here. Hodi’s is local music,” he said.