by Lorie Lewis Ham
If you’re looking for a place to hear some great music from here in the Valley, and from all over the world, Cellar Door is the place to go in Visalia.
Their website states that they are a live entertainment venue that boasts musical acts from all over the world, and by weekday the Cellar Door is an intimate lounge that makes an ideal after work spot, friendly meet up place, or happy hour hangout. They also host movie screenings, theme parties, fashion shows, and art exhibits. They even have free wi-fi.
Kevin Ross has been the General Manager at Cellar Door for the past two years and first began working there in 2009 as a server. Cellar Door owners Dan and Denise Littleton were the first to hire Kevin when he moved back to Visalia from San Francisco. Not only is Cellar Door a music venue, but according to Kevin they are a great beer and wine destination. “We have over 75 different beers (plus) to choose from, from all over the world, and a plethora of wine by the glass and by the bottle from all over the world as well. We pride ourselves on our very distinct selection that is hard to find elsewhere here in the Central Valley.”
As to the music, they have live music performed there throughout the week. “From local acts like Run 4 Cover, Mahop, Indosurf, Mezcal, etc. to national touring bands such as Cold War Kids, Foster The People, Billy Corgan, Chris Robinson and Vampire Weekend,” continued Kevin. “We love our music and wine here at the Cellar Door.”
“It is spacious, clean, and has a healthy draw for local and touring musicians,” shared Steve Potorke, of the band OCHER, who have played at Cellar Door on numerous occasions. “Some of my favorite musicians and artists have either played or had some showcase there, and every event has been a great time and very professional. The people running sound are always patient and helpful, and the wait staff are very nice. Finally, I don’t think you could get a better location than Main and Court in downtown Visalia. A lot of people have discovered our music simply through its prime downtown locale. ”
“If you have never seen a live show at the Cellar Door you are definitely missing out,” said Kevin. “This is THE premier spot in Visalia to see amazing local and national talent. Aaron Gomes of Sound N Vision has been nothing but stellar in the bands he has booked and continues to book here at the Cellar Door.”
“The Cellar Door has been Sound N Vision’s go-to venue for a majority of our events,” stated Aaron Gomes, Executive Director of the Sound N Vision Foundation, who books the majority of the talent that performs at Cellar Door. “The owners and employees are amazing to work with and share a similar vision with us about bringing the absolutely best entertainment to the Central Valley. They’ve been fantastic partners.”
Beyond just a great selection of beer and wine, which Kevin stated is always changing to give their customers what they want, Cellar Door also serves food. “We have a great food menu to satisfy your hunger cravings as well.”
If you love great wine you might also want to check out their wine club. According to their website, the Wine Club features only the best wines during their monthly tastings. Join today to receive exclusive member benefits:
Take home 2 free bottles of wine at the tastings.
Miss the event? Just call them to make arrangements to pick up your wine within 30 days!
10% off bottle purchases any time
Case purchases at a deep discount (ask for details)
Free Event admission for in-house shows
(excludes Sound & Vision events)
Best of all, its only $35 a month to join!
Makes an amazing gift for anyone!
Stop by the Cellar Door to fill out a form, or call 636-9463 (636-WINE) and speak to J.R. for more information.
And if the great music, beer, wine and food aren’t enough, there’s more. On Tuesdays they have Salsa dancing and lessons. Beginning lessons start at 8 p.m. and are free. You don’t need a partner. From 9 p.m. to midnight there is salsa dancing for the remainder of the evening. They have $2 beer specials all night long. “This has been a long tradition here at the Cellar Door and we all have a good time,” said Kevin.
On Wednesday’s they host an Open Mic night brought to you by local talent Ira Haze. This begins at 8:30 p.m. sharp and they encourage everyone to show up early to sign up. Musicians need to bring their own instruments. “We have bands, singer/songwriters, rappers, comedians, and whatever else shows up and show Visalia a good time. $3 draft specials all night,” continued Kevin.
On Thursdays they host The Goodlife brought to you by DJ Ren Rock from local radio station B95 out of Fresno. They keep it a lounge atmosphere on these nights. Everything from the 80s, 90s and top 40 can be heard. Free entrance and $3 drink specials all night long.
On Friday’s they always have live music. To see what is going on at the Cellar check out their website and click on their event calendar link. You can also find a link to their calendar on KRL’s local concert and venue event page.
On Saturday’s they host Nightlife brought to you again by DJ Ren Rock. They often have early live music acts perform from 8 to 10 p.m. so be sure to check their calendar before making your plans. “Nightlife brings all walks of life from Bakersfield to Fresno and DJ’s from Las Vegas to San Francisco,” said Kevin. “Cellar Door also has the best security in Visalia and everyone feels at home and safe. Music usually consists of top 40/hip-hop/80s. We strive to do all we can for the Central Valley and it shows with the support we have been getting.”
While Kevin loves everything about his job as Cellar Door’s general manager, the music has been a definite highlight for him. “The music is amazing here. After living in San Francisco for several years, I would have never imagined coming home and being able to see so many amazing bands for such a low price. I dabble in music myself and meeting some of my favorite musicians that roll through here is also a perk. Meeting the Cave Singers, Phantogram, Foster The People, Chris Robinson, Frank Black, Twin Shadow, People Under The Stairs, Wu-Tang members, Dam Funk, Murs, !!!, Cold War Kids, etc. has been surreal.”
If you would like to check out this music scene and their great selection of wine and beer for yourself, Cellar Door is open Tuesday through Saturday from 6 p.m. to close. For event information, private parties, wine club info or reservations visit their website or email kevin@cellardoor101[dot]com. They are located in the heart of downtown Visalia at 101 W. Main St., Visalia, CA 93291 636.9463 WINE.