Nineteen bands will play from Wednesday to Saturday at The Union.

After 18 months of labor, The Union Bar & Grill is reopening its doors with some force. From Wednesday to Saturday, 19 bands will be filling the stage for the grand reopening.

“We’re really looking forward to opening the doors on Wednesday and letting everyone in and showing off the place,” Eric Gunn, co-owner of The Union, said. “People will know exactly where they’re at when they walk in if they were regulars, but there’s new and improved stuff.”

Gunn said they tried to appeal to everyone when choosing the bands.

“We’ve tried to have a broad spectrum of bands coming on,” Gunn said. “We would’ve loved to have every local band play.” 

Fittingly, there is a phoenix on the poster for the event.

“We had a fire, and now we’re having a rebirth,” Gunn said. “We’re back.” 

Gunn isn’t the only one who said he was excited for the reopening. The band Blond will be playing there this weekend, and Blond bassist Ethan Wehrly said The Union was a special place.

“It feels like when you're there, you’re there for the show, not just to get drunk,” Wehrly said. “The overall vibe is like nothing else.”

Blond also happened to be the last band to take the stage before the fire, so Wehrly said reopening will be personal for them.

“We’re super excited. We’ve been waiting for a year and a half,” Wehrly said. “We were the last band to play there. We lost some things in the fire.”

As important as it was to them, their upcoming performance almost didn’t happen.

“There was some debate about whether we’d be able to play,” Wehrly said. “One member is out of town. We decided to do it anyway.”

In the end, Wehrly said it was important for the band to play.

“Things came full circle,” Wehrly said. “We’ll be able to get some closure.”

Some bands who are playing for the first time at The Union, like Slackluster, said they couldn’t wait to get up on stage.

“Slackluster formed shortly after (The Union) had burnt down so we hadn’t got the chance to play there,” Josh Miller, guitarist and vocalist for Slackluster, said. “It was always a dream of ours to do so.”

Miller said although the band had never played there, The Union had had a great effect on him.

“It became somewhat of a second home to me since I moved here in 2007,” Miller said. “I’ve seen a lot of great shows there. It’s an honor to be able to play at the reopening.”

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The Union has a heavy lineup this week, and Gunn said it was just the beginning.

“We’re back to music all summer long,” Gunn said.

@AustinRErickson

ae554013@ohio.edu