The Twisted Wheel: New Bar on Water Street

Image via The Twisted Wheel on Facebook.

The Twisted Wheel is opening up in Peterborough! What’s that you ask? A new venue & event space, which is also branded as a bar & lounge. The Twisted Wheel is located at 379 Water street, and is a joint undertaking from Mike Judson and Jonathan Hall.

Hall is the former creator and proprietor of Spanky’s (now sold), and the Trasheteria, which permanently closed in 2012. Hall is also the originator of the Hootenanny on Hunter Street, which occurs annually in the summer and brings musicians, bands, and performers to a sectioned-off Hunter Street for a fun and unique Street festival.

Judson is an actor, formerly performing in the local improv comedy troupe, the Citiots. He also works as a co-host, currently on Country 105 FM.

I got to chat briefly with Judson & Hall earlier this week at their new establishment and get a sneak peak of the interior of the venue, which is currently undergoing renovations.

Hall made sure to emphasize that, “While there will be live music, this is not (just) a live music venue. We’re a bar. We’re a lounge. We’re a live music venue. We’re an event space.” This is a pragmatic approach to the changing wants and needs of modern culture, where everything and anything can be hosted in one place, without being typified as dedicated to solely one thing.

A quick hit-list laid out by Judson and Hall included: live music, live vinyl DJs, art shows, auctions, fundraisers, record hops, movie nights (B-movie nights), maybe a fashion show, sketch and stand-up comedy, & how-to-cook nights with local chefs.

That sounds like a lot for one place, and I’m sure that both Judson and Hall are aware of that. I’m also sure, however, that they realize if pulled off, this could be one of the coolest bars in town.

They both also emphasized that the bar will encompass a “more mature vibe.” This is not necessarily to say that it will only be for older folk, but rather that it won’t be a place to go crazy — a place to take it easy and enjoy your surroundings in a mellow manner. Judson commented, “A big part of this is creating a safe place with good vibes, where people just wanna come, for whatever reason it is that night, and just to draw together our social circles and be themselves.”

The bar itself is laid beautifully, and although messy and disorganized due to its current renovations, The Twisted Wheel’s foundations are aesthetically pleasing. The main bar has a stenciled design, which will be filled in to prevent damage. There is a DJ booth, which will be backgrounded by a wall full of vinyl records. In the back room there is a stage and performance area, about the size of the Garnet, with a patio in the back, once the weather permits. These are just rough sketches of what will most likely be a beautiful space. I can only describe so much, as the place is still being created, but the framework put in place looks very nice and I am excited to see it upon opening.

The bar is still undergoing interior renovations, so Judson and Hall said that it would be a good month, before everything is in order, and the doors will be open. However, when they do open, this venue will provide a new space for artists and performers to hone their craft.

While described by Judson and Hall as a slightly unorthodox performance space, the venue should help in continuing the cultivation of artistic talents within Peterborough, while also showcasing new acts and events, and maybe inspiring brand new ones.

About Tyler Majer 73 Articles
Tyler works out of Peterborough, Ontario, and reluctantly attends Trent University. He loathes deeply, while drinking often. The cigarettes will soon consume his life. Read his poetry while you still can at while reading his journalistic work at this very site. I would say that he would be appreciative, but that may not be the truth.