Despite 421-Day Closure, North Carolina Performance Venue Survives To Reopen

©The Evening Muse

We here at GOBankingRates want to help get our nation’s small businesses back on their feet after the COVID-19 pandemic. To do that, we’re highlighting readers’ favorite small businesses around the country, and shining a spotlight on what makes them special to their customers and their towns.

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In this edition of our Small Business Spotlight series, we’re featuring The Evening Muse, a performance venue in Charlotte, North Carolina. Since opening in 2001, the venue has showcased thousands of independent music acts and performing artists, from Carolinas’ own music scene to performers from all corners of the globe. Here, we chat with owners Don Koster, Laurie Koster and Joe Kuhlmann about why they wanted to run their own venue, the toll the pandemic took on their business and what it takes to succeed as a small business.

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Was there a particular moment or experience that inspired you to start your business?

All three owners simply have had a lifelong love of live, original entertainment in an intimate setting.

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What did you take from past experiences or jobs that you knew you wanted to be a part of your new business?

We always wanted to ensure that the focus was on our artists and their fans. If they have a good experience here at the Muse, we all win.

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What has been the most rewarding aspect of being a business owner?

Being totally involved in the decisions that make the business move forward.

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How has the pandemic affected your business?

The pandemic caused us to have to be closed for 421 days without revenue!

How can people continue to support your business during this time?

Simply by coming to a show, and supporting the artists and venue!

Read: A Zero-Waste Store Grows in Brooklyn

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?

Make sure to have a solid plan and solid funding to execute that plan.

Do you have a small business you want to see in this spotlight? Just let us know.

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This interview has been edited for clarity.

Last updated: June 7, 2021

About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert. 

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