When you first walk into 9 Wallis there are a few things that stand out. The first are the friendly and personal greetings you get at the door by the owners and staff, and the second is being taken to where your seat is. You're not left to wander through the venue trying to figure out where your table may or may not be hiding. (Although, there is no hiding in this venue, everything is easy to navigate!)
The next thing that will stand out pretty quickly is the venue itself, from the clean and fresh exterior to the attention to detail that has been given on the inside. Beautiful flooring and woodwork, stained glass, a bar that looks like it just rolled out of a glamorous movie set from the 50's, and bathrooms that are some of the nicest I've seen in any venue.
The venue itself is a very intimate style seating. Don't let the online seating chart fool you, no matter where you choose to sit you will be close to the action and comfortable while you're there. They have table service and bar service so you can take your pick.
The wait staff, and everyone that works here, are very friendly and work to make sure you're well taken care of throughout the evening. Even when there are so many people attending that you might think it otherwise impossible to keep up with all of us music lovers.
Peter Van Ness does something that I've really only seen done in two other settings in a similar manner. And those are from back where I grew up in TN. He comes out on stage in front of everyone to introduce the artists and to thank the local sponsors who help to support live music, but most importantly he takes the time to thank each and every audience for attending. And having spent some time talking with Peter, I can confirm this is a genuine and honest expression of gratitude for those of us who come out and who support live music.
It's a nice moment to see that kind of time taken to greet and welcome and thank the patrons by the owners. Peter and Vicki both take the time to talk with patrons who come in and remember those who return.
When they self describe the venue as an intimate listening room, they are spot on and it is perfectly suited to the purpose. Not only are you up close with the artists, but great effort has been put into ensuring the accoustics, equipment, and sound are all balanced for each act so that you get a rich full listening experience no matter where your seats are. I've frequented and sat in various locations at this point, and I've yet to find a bad seat. The audio is well balanced and if you happen to look up from the fantastic music they bring in, you will see someone moving around the room continually working to make sure the audio is exactly where it is supposed to be.
Parking is available all around the area with an easy walk to the venue, there are also parking lots available too. I do recommend getting there a bit early for parking but I've done well each time I've been up to Beverly to visit.
9 Wallis and GimmieLive work to bring in great music and entertainment of various types throughout the year. And they continually accomplish this with great consistency.
One thing is very clear, there is a dedication to bringing live music to the area and making it easily available for all to enjoy. This is not just a business, this is a passion!
You can also enjoy a tremendous buffet style dinner with your night out which is catered by Rasta Kitchen. This is something you can purchase ahead of time or even once you arrive at the venue. I recommend saving room for the cannoli!
If you're up in the North Shore area and are looking for a great night out, then I highly recommend 9 Wallis. And if you're not up on the North Shore... It's worth the drive, and it's an easy drive.
Be sure to check their site for new events being constantly updated. You can also check the New England Blues Review Events page, and I highly recommend signing up for their mailing list so you find out as soon as new shows are added, right to your inbox!
9 Wallis has become one of those venues that is at the top of my list to check in on regularly to plan my next visit.
*This review was not solicited by the musicians or venue.