Welcome to the Furnace
January 5 saw the opening of the newest nightclub in Antigonish, The Furnace Nightclub. After launching to great success (max capacity at 10:30pm) I caught up with the owner to discuss his plans and hopes for his business.
Timothy Peters is the 28-year-old entrepreneur at the helm of The Furnace. Growing up in Cape Breton, Tim lived around big fields and farmland all his life, which inspired his interest in creating incredible parties. The year he held his first annual field party titled “Beats in a Field,” a music festival including 5 DJs, a hay wagon for a stage, and a formidable 400 person attendance.
Fast forward to its third year and the event had an attendance of 1000 people who enjoyed food trucks, various entertainers, and a great party overall. The sheer size of the event became too much to handle for a one-man operation, so Tim rented the space previously occupied by the Oriental Lounge to begin his newest business endeavour. One year of preparation later, The Furnace is ready to go and things are just starting to heat up.
After hearing a brief history, I asked Tim what his goals for The Furnace are, and what his plans are to differentiate himself from other bars in town. Tim elaborated on his target audience being you, the students, and what he thinks will attract students to the new spot.
The building itself is rather small, but features a good mix of seating space and dance floor to appeal to all in attendance. The dance floor itself has the stage front and centre, where DJs and live bands will keep the nights going for all to see. Interestingly, there is a pool table in the seating area, further increasing the diversity in the environment and creating a unique vibe compared to other bars in town. Aside from the building layout, some key features to look out for are cheap drinks during happy hour (9pm-11pm), various live performers, and several female bouncers, which Tim attributes to creating the comforting and welcoming environment felt on opening night, a trend which will surely continue.
I had some concern over the location of the bar, being above a local restaurant, however Tim easily cleared any doubts I had. He explained that he rents the room from the restaurant owner, and that their businesses work parallel to each other to operate as smoothly as possible. For instance, The Furnace opens just as the restaurant closes, avoiding any noise issues that may be had. Also, with the stairway to access the building being rather narrow, the line begins at the door, allowing for easy access both in and out of bar. Lastly, the bar is inherently not accessible to persons with physical disabilities due to it being on the second floor, and there is no official means to alleviate this issue as of now.
Each bar in town creates its own unique atmosphere which largely attracts or alienates certain people. Being the new club in town, The Furnace is in the position to create a name for itself and establish a unique atmosphere when compared to its competitors. Tim wants The Furnace to be an inclusive, welcoming, and modern nightclub for all people to come and enjoy. A great example of getting off to the right foot is an event taking place February 2, X-Pride’s “Rainbow Party.” This event concludes the month’s events put on by X-Pride. By hosting this event, The Furnace already cements itself as the welcoming and inclusive location it strives to be. But of course, we can’t forget about the entertainment. From his experience in hosting “Beats in a Field” Tim has many connections which will inevitably lead to talented DJs and live bands to rival some of the best entertainment in town.
Being the new bar in town, there is considerable competition to attract an audience when the competitors have such established experiences. So, here’s the kicker for all us students to enjoy: no cover. That’s right, well, at least most of the time.
Tim went on to explain that most often there will be no cover to enter the bar as he feels everyone should be able to enjoy the night without paying for admittance. With that said though, of course there will be a cover charge to help pay for a particular entertainer for special events. But Tim wants his customers to receive value for their cover charge, and from the cheap drinks, diverse environment, and great entertainment, it will certainly be worth the price.
From the environment, to the atmosphere, and entertainment, The Furnace’s future looks bright and is sure to be an interesting new place to visit and enjoy.
Lastly, Tim has a quick message for the students: “Come out and try something new at The Furnace!”