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Variety House features local talent
ARLINGTON A gang of young adults with babies and grandparents were gathered at a new hot spot in town Saturday night, chatting and swaying to live music.
Celebrating local talent is the mission of Linda and Michael Follett at their new business in downtown Arlington, Variety House, at 312 N. Olympic Ave.
We named it that because we want to do a variety of things, Follett said.
Known around town as the Arlington Garden Club president, Follett and her husband also offered outdoor movies in their yard north of Arlington last summer, and Michael is an experienced singer who sang at the garden club luncheon last year.
The location was most recently occupied by a mortgage company, but was fitted to be a restaurant for Papa Joes Pizza before that.
The manager of the shop, Daniel Woolman, is the brother of the house bands lead singer, Adam Woolman. The house band also includes Aaron Willsie, bass, Adam Countryman, drummer, and Peace Israel, on keyboards, and vocalist Michael Follett. They will fill in when no outside acts are booked, but Daniel said he is currently in the process of booking all Saturdays in the near future.
Were bringing in some bands from Seattle, he said.
All are welcome for open mic on Fridays, and Thursday night is karaoke night. Starting May 17, Variety House will be host to the Evergreen Country Idol competition. The six-week contest will result in one country music singer being forwarded to finals and the top winner will perform with Keith Anderson at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe.
The contest is sponsored by Karaoke Store in Everett and KMPS Radio 94.1.
Were the only venue that isnt a tavern, Follett said. So kids 16 and above can compete here in Arlington.
Variety House offers bottled soft drinks, snacks and coffee but not espresso, Follett said.
The gathering place includes ceiling-high displays of art by students, travel photographs by Linda and Jim Woolmans sports paraphernalia collection. An Elvis Presley movie poster collection displayed on the far back wall belongs to Janiece Woolman.
The space will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and is available for rent for $10 an hour. So far, Monday nights are already booked by a local belly dancing class taught by Janice Hedstrom, a.k.a. Habibah.
A ping-pong table is stored in the back room and there might be movie nights, too.
A grand opening celebration is set for May 5.
Its going to be a real fun outreach project, said Janiece Woolman, the mother of the manager.
For information about renting or scheduling talent call Daniel 425-879-9497.