What was once the Putnam Den has become the Putnam Place (to be).
Thanks to a few renovations, and a few to come, the music venue has a new flavor and a new name.
“I owed it to the music-goers,” said owner Tiffany Albert.
When she started the Putnam Den nine years ago, the name fit. It was more of an intimate space with touring bands and local favorites. But as years went by, the equipment and the facility started to show a bit of wear and tear. It was becoming more of a dive bar and less of the performance space Albert originally envisioned.
But in the past few months, with the improved lighting and sound system, as well as a larger stage and several other improvements, Putnam Place has replaced the Den.
“Putnam Den always had a concrete floor. But we put in a tile and hardwood floor with a quarter-inch-thick dance floor,” Albert said, “Your back won’t hurt if you dance the night away.”
The digital sound system, expanded stage and video wall have started to attract more artists and shows.
“It’s opened the doors to higher-caliber acts,” Albert said.
On Friday, Grammy-award winning artist and producer Wyclef Jean is slated to take the stage. Jean broke into the industry with The Fugees, but since then has worked with artists such as Michael Jackson, Shakira, Mick Jagger, Paul Simon and many others. With his latest album, “Carnival III: Road to Clefication,” his first since 2009, he’s touring again. The album was dubbed one of the most anticipated by Billboard.
“Then we have a top-rated burlesque group on Saturday,” Albert said. The Whisky Tango Slideshow, which features burlesque performers from across the state, will perform Timeless-Burlesque Through the Ages.
There’s also a higher level of diversity in the acts and in the weekly events, such as beer yoga.
“I wanted to make the concept of yoga more accessible to people,” Albert said.
Each Tuesday, a local yoga instructor comes in to teach and each class has a different flavor. One class was done with glow sticks (and nicknamed “glowga”), and others have charity components.
“We’re trying to diversify what we’re doing,” Albert said, “Beyond a music venue and [becoming] an entertainment venue.”
In the coming months, there will be more theatrical acts and even more involvement with local acts. For the Wyclef Jean show, Victory Soul Orchestra, a Troy-based band, will open, and Albert plans to continue having local bands open for big acts.
Although things are already looking polished, Albert said the renovations have only begun.
“We’re going to make a balcony at the back of the venue,” Albert said. She also plans to renovate the storefront, adding a coat check, a ticket booth and an outside bar. Although many of these changes won’t be in place for the summer, Albert said the renovations remain a work in progress.
Here’s a look at what’s coming up in the next week at Putnam Place
Wyclef Jean: The Carnival Tour
9 p.m. Friday
Tickets: $40 in advance, $48 at door
Timeless-Burlesque Through the Ages
8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: $10 general admission, $40 VIP seating for two
7 p.m. Tuesday
Rebirth Brass Band
With Hot Club of Saratoga
8 p.m. Wednesday
Tickets: $25 in advance, $28 day of show
For information, visit putnamplace.com.