Aux Garages, which opened in January, includes a concert hall and an antiques shopping center
Kent Drangsholt hopes that when patrons enter At the Garages, his 24,000-square-foot music venue and antiques mall in Lake Grove, they’ll be transported to another time — and have fun doing it.
Drangsholt opened the space, which was formerly Nicoli’s Grill & Sports Bar, at 17880 SW McEwan Road in January. The Concert Hall hosts concerts and other events every night, while the Antiques Mall has dozens of vendors selling everything from vinyl records to vintage clothing and jewelry.
“They both talk about history. That’s what unites them,” he said. “Music is our history and we remember that by the music we hear and the antiques they find in it – ‘My grandma had this when I was growing up.’ It reminds them of their childhood and the places they have been or the places they wish they had been in. It is an awakening of the senses to what your life is all about.
Drangsholt has spent his career in broadcasting and advertising. A musician and antique collector, he wanted to pursue these hobbies in the next chapter of his life. He then opened a shopping mall and antiques spot in Beaverton in 2018 before the building was sold, forcing him to look for other options. He said he liked the Lake Oswego location and was thrilled to be here.
The owner added that the stage works well for everything from a large group to a small trio, and the sound system is particularly excellent thanks to the work of sound engineer Steve Griffiths. The venue can accommodate about 175 people inside and another 100 in the courtyard, Drangsholt said.
“We have probably the best PA system in town for the size of the room it fills,” Drangsholt said. “Ours feels like studio quality.”
The place regularly hosts concerts as well as cornholes on Mondays and “date night” on Thursdays. Drangsholt said the old Beaverton site had not closed during the pandemic and instead had artists hold outdoor concerts where radio transmitters would send music into cars parked on the car park. He felt that with the upcoming lifting of mask mandates, people will want to have a good time.
“When they come here for the first time and they haven’t been out for a year, we can tell people who are almost in tears how happy this place makes them. That’s what warms our hearts “Drangsholt said.
Overall, Drangsholt said he aspires to make At the Garages “the living room of Oregon” and hopes its customer service, food, drink and atmosphere live up to that moniker.
“We’re trying to be the best Portland has ever seen,” he said.
For more information about Aux Garages, visit https://atthegarages.net.
You rely on us to stay informed and we rely on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.