In 1999, a partnership began between Jamie Lokoff and Tommy Joyner, and the result was the MilkBoy empire we know today. Starting out above Zapf’s Music off of Roosevelt Bouelvard, the two joined forces to take Joyner’s MilkBoy Recording Studio to the next level. After two years at the North Philadelphia location, Lokoff and Joyner chose to move the studio to a space in Ardmore, where it resided for just over ten years until moving to its current location – 7th and Callowhill, the same building as the Electric Factory. Before the studio was even moved, they chose to expand their brand, create something more out of MilkBoy, something that everyone could enjoy. I got to chat with Tommy and Jamie about how they went from just a recording to studio to a full out bar, venue, coffee shop combo and their upcoming MilkBoy Philly anniversary shows.
Photo by Tony Wood
The Key: How did you go about expanding the recording studio to become a venue and a coffee shop?
Tommy Joyner: We were approached by people in the town and became very involved in Ardmore. I was on the Board of the Ardmore Business Association, and Jamie on the Board of Ardmore Initiative. The coffee shop/music venue was opened in February 2006 followed by the Bryn Mawr location in 2007, which no longer exists. Then just over a year ago, the folks who owned the property in Center City contacted us. We were looking to get into Philly so it was really perfect timing.
TK: What is the difference between MilkBoy Coffee and MilkBoy Philly?
TJ: MilkBoy Philly is a bar and a rock club. It’s larger, and we’re able to do louder shows because the PA is robust, to say the least. The stage is bigger, and you’re more likely to see a national act perform at MilkBoy Philly. We have to be choosy about doing all-ages shows there, whereas MilkBoy Coffee is smaller, more for acoustic-oriented acts, and always all-ages and BYOB. They are both booked really well to showcase the best talent, but they feel really different from each other. Continue reading
Hank And Cupcakes—which will perform at Milkboy’s new Center City location later this month—is featured on Paste Magazine‘s website today with a video featuring performances of three original songs and one cover (“Like A G6″). The Israeli-born husband (Hank) and wife (Cupcakes) duo plays a brand of dance-beat-heavy, electro-synth pop; the pair’s 2008 move to Brooklyn was the catalyst for its burgeoning American success. Click here to watch the video.
Hank And Cupcakes performs with Gang and Pink Skull at Milkboy Coffe on September 17th; tickets are on sale now and cost $8.
MilkBoy Coffee’s third location opened earlier this week at 1100 Chestnut Street. The coffee shop, bar, and music venue joins the franchise’s two Main Line locations in Ardmore and Bryn Mawr. Like its sister sites, MilkBoy Philly will serve coffee as well as breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare, with many vegetarian options available. The Center City spot is the first to hold a liquor license, and will feature a full bar on each of its two floors. The top floor will feature a 200-person standing room 21+ music venue, for which eight shows have already been announced. One highlight is sure to include a September 29th show with local Eastern European brass band-inspired collective West Philadelphia Orchestra and recent 2nd Street Festival performers, Philly band The Great Unknown. Other local acts with scheduled shows include Gang, Black Landlord, Meeting in the Aisle, and Man Like Machine.
Ticket prices for the concerts are cheap, ranging from $8 – $13.50, so be sure to check out the new venue and support some local music while you’re at it.
Preliminary MilkBoy Philly show calendar:
9/17: Gang w/ Hank & Cupcakes and Pink Skull
9/21: Jim Ward
9/24: Black Landlord
9/28: We Are Augustines
9/29: West Philadelphia Orchestra w/ The Great Unknown
9/30: Meeting in the Aisle (Radiohead Tribute Band) w/ Man Like Machine
10/6: Toubab Krewe w/ Gongo Junction
10/20: Lisa Hannigan
MilkBoy Philly is located at 1100 Chestnut Street. Its hours of operation are from 6am – 11pm. Tickets to all upcoming shows can be found here.
Milkboy Coffee is coming to Center City in 2011. With two locations – one in Ardmore and one in Bryn Mawr, the all-ages venue/coffee bar has announced a move that will add a third location in to the mix. Just announced on their site:
Dear friends, family, customers, and community, we would like to officially announce some very exciting news: MilkBoy is expanding! After 5 successful years as a café and venue on the Main Line, we are pleased to say that in early 2011 we will be opening our newest location at 1100 Chestnut Street in Center City Philadelphia. In addition to the café, our new location will have a full-service bar and features a stage and performance area that will fit up to 200 people.
One of the things we love about indie songstress Lelia Broussard—well, in addition to her sultry voice and the fact that she cut her teeth in the Philly open-mic scene—is her way with words. Her official bio, which is listed in bullet points (because “bios are boring”), includes priceless tidbits such as “I was an egg, then I was fertilized, then I was born,” “I once had 15 cats. Creepy right?,” and “Waited tables, got fired for yelling at my boss (he was a special kind of douche).” Personally, we’re big fans of any musician who skips past the cut-and-dry press-release B.S. and lets their personality shine through—especially when it’s someone with a playful sense of wit.
Lelia (pronounced “Lil-yah”—which just happens to also be the title of the album she released in 2005)—has since moved to Los Angeles (after a stint in New York), but that doesn’t make us any less excited about her new album, Masquerade, which was released yesterday and produced by Dan Romer (Ingrid Michaelson). Lelia will head out on tour in support of the album later this month; the tour includes a performance at Milkboy Coffee in Ardmore on Friday, December 3rd.