Originally located in the Murdale shopping center on the west side of Carbondale, Cristaudo's bakery celebrated 40 years in business last October. Having re-opened in November 2011 at its current location on the Strip, the local eatery is branching out to offer visitors and residents more than their famous sugar cookies and cakes.
In addition to a rotating art gallery available for local artists to show their work, Cristaudo's houses 6Pence, a gift shop that offers a variety of vintage, local, and handmade gifts and novelties, and has recently introduced itself as the latest Carbondale venue to welcome traveling and local music acts.
“We've got our liquor license now,” said Evan Neuman, a bakery employee who has also been in charge of booking acts as well as promotions. “We're focusing on local distilleries, but have offerings like Stag and Schlafly,” referring to the beer options available in addition to Carbondale’s Grand River Distillery spirits.
“We're also doing a limited menu with appetizers during show times, as well as the pastry case.”
It was the beginning of this summer, Neuman said, when the push to start booking more bands began. Approached by one of the four owners of Cristaudo's as to whether or not he would be interested in helping to book and promote shows, Neuman agreed. Already familiar with booking bands for local venues such as house venue Skihaus and Plaza Records, adding bands to the Cristaudo's lineup was an easy transition.
Upcoming shows include a variety of touring bands along with local acts. Shows are slated to have doors open at 7 p.m., with music beginning at 7:30 p.m.
“We wanted to have earlier shows so people who have to get up early can still make it,” Neuman said. “We've all got to be up early ourselves, so it made sense.”
On Aug. 18, punk rock band The Fur Coats of Austin, Texas, will perform there, along with Carbondale rockers Skyrats and Trophy Shop.
On Sept. 4, Nashville psychedelic rockers Ttotals will play; local act Hans Predator will open.
Then again on Sept. 21, Nashville’s Idle Bloom will take to the stage along with local acts Skyrats and Mello Tonin.
“We started out doing one a month,” Neuman said, referring to the frequency with which bands were being booked. “Now we're hoping to keep it at two or so a month.”
Offerings cover a variety of rock stylings, from punk to psychedelic to noise, and there are plans to continue shows with more offerings in the coming months.
With the recent push on the part of downtown businesses to reinvigorate the storied Strip of Carbondale, Cristaudo's is one of many locales in the ‘Dale to hope that their success will translate in to success for the city as well.
“We want to keep Carbondale weird (and) rocking,” Neuman said, mirroring the sentiment of other famous college towns with well-known music scenes.
For more information, follow Cristaudo's online via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. They also have a website and offer a monthly newsletter for those wishing to be kept in the loop with all the upcoming shows and specials. Their website is cristaudos.com, and they can be contacted by phone at 618-529-4303. It is located at 209 S. Illinois Ave.