BROOKFIELD, Conn. – The Room, a beloved music venue in Brookfield, has gone dark and closed its doors. But it had a great run of entertaining people from the greater Danbury area and beyond — and offering a place for local musicians of all genres to hit the stage.
When owner Vern Nickerson was young, he had a vision of what he wanted The Room to be. His plan included what his calls his “muse” – his daughter Lily — setting up a place where she could be part of the story. When construction began at The Room, Lily was just 5 and had years of hanging out and jamming out to music ahead of her.
“I wanted her to grow with the place, as did my business partner with his daughter,” Nickerson said Madison, who is now in college.
Over the years, the musicians ranged in age from 8 to 82 and performed a variety of genres.
“To me, the best show lineup would have an inexperienced band making a stage debut the same night we had a touring national band,” Nickerson said.
All musical genres were embraced as Nickerson wanted anyone who was comfortable to play. Sometimes The Room featured an acoustic night, with a metal show or rock show the next night.
Nickerson liked being off the beaten path in Brookfield, away from the bar scene. The location allowed performers to focus on their music and their talent.
For the next 11 years, and as Lily grew up, Nickerson and his wife embraced his vision and dreams. Lily got to play a little music on her own, and was a big part of the final show that took place Oct. 17. For five years, Nickerson said the venue didn’t bring in a profit, but he didn’t care. He put his heart and soul into it, until he could no longer hold on, he said.
“We did not fail, we just cannot financially keep it going. Five years straight of no profit ... if we could afford to continue, without question, we would,” Nickerson said.
As life moves on, people will always remember that “song from a first concert, a first dance, a first kiss. … It is your life soundtrack. We love that we have added to some people's lives in that way,” Nickerson said.