Sealy Flats Begins Anew
A soulful note rang out in the hearts of San Angelo Blues lovers when they heard of Sealy Flats closing on Dec. 17.
The bar has been a staple in the live music scene in San Angelo ever since Rod and Denise Bridgman opened up in 2008.
The venue didn’t just get local talents; Rod Bridgman booked big names in blues like Ana Popovic, Mike Milligan and the Altar Boyz, Zac Harmon and many other musicians from all over the country.
“A bunch of us, when we heard it closed decided we couldn’t let that happen,” said Jeska Bailey, photographer, musician and new partner in Sealy Flats. “So we reached out and Rod and Denise reach back and we met in the middle.”
Bailey, who performed at least once a month at Sealy Flats with her band, is very partial to the place and the people.
“I love Sealy Flats,” smiled Bailey. “It’s where I learned to sing blues. Rod and Denise became family.”
Bailey, her husband and two other families joined forces to begin renovations on Saturday. The majority of the décor was repurposed items, according to Bailey, a theme the partners plan on continuing.
Along with renovating the décor, Bailey says that they are going to improve logistical aspects such as seating and food service.
“We’re going to step away from fine dining,” she said. “Ordering at the counter with the food brought to your table--it eliminates a lot of the wait time.”
This addresses one of the biggest complaints against the original Sealy Flats, which was the wait time to receive food.
“We’re really hoping to have affordable food, finger foods, quick and fun,” said Bailey. “I don’t think there’s going to be a $12 hamburger.”
The backyard area will also have many renovations, fixing the dirt floor and changing the seating. The stage will be the same and the partners might even put in TVs to utilize the back corner.
Aside from menu and decorative changes, one major difference will be the late night dining. “San Angelo can come downtown and get food out front late at night,” Bailey said.
She explained that she and her partners want to put in a window in the front of Sealy Flats to serve food from 2:00 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.
Another big change that will be initiated is an adjustment to Sealy's schedule. According to Bailey, they will open Thursday through Saturday, unless they book a big player. “I don’t want to miss out on a big name because we’re not open,” she explained.
Nationally known bands will still come through to play, but Bailey mentioned that they plan on booking more local bands as well. She herself will continue playing gigs at Sealy Flats.
“We want to bring in a lot of local flavor. We will still bring in bigger bands and stick with the blues theme,” she said. “I’ve already had 20 calls from local people wondering if they can get in.”
Of course it wouldn’t be Sealy Flats without Rod Bridgman.
“Rod is still going to come around and be there, shake hands, carry the tip bucket around,” Bailey explained. “It’s his element, it’s what he loves.”
Currently, Bridgman is training Bailey to take his place as the public relations rep and booker of bands for the venue, which she feels are big shoes to fill.