Windsong Hadley was about to sign a 71-page lease document with plans of opening a bistro and then things went a little … Askew.
“I always loved the history and the design of the room,” Hadley said standing in Askew, an event space which brings a fresh feel to what was once the Century Lounge in Providence. “A huge amount of the music history of Providence began in this room so that to me was very important in incorporating it in our current business venture.”
Teaming up with her husband, John Difruscio, former owner of Club Hell, the two bring over 20 years of experience in entertainment to this unique venue. Askew is home to events ranging from live music and stand-up comedy to poetry readings and performances of magic. She went on to explain that space contains a unique ability to be compartmentalized in order to accommodate every type of live performance.
“I don’t think there’s anything typical about our audience,” Hadley said. She describes Askew as a place where patrons can witness a man with tattoos on his head enjoying a show next to someone in a business suit alongside a college professor and students. Hadley and Difruscio are striving to mold Askew into a place that accepts all forms of creativity while barring any hint of discrimination and bigotry.
“Everybody needs a place to cultivate and refuel and get out of their minds for one moment,” she said explaining that this can only be achieved if people do not feel judged. “I’ve never allowed discrimination of any kind. A bar only gets as crazy as you let it.”
Creativity and art are not limited to event space but instead reach back into the kitchen. “You eat with your eyes,” she said. “I don’t think you should sacrifice art in the kitchen.”
Askew’s menu features Cajun-style comfort foot, all impaled with a stick for handheld eating, designed to make patrons happy during a show. When asked what criteria she has for the food, Hadley said, “It’s got to be on skewers and it’s got to be pretty.”
She revealed in the compliment she received from her regulars who referred to Askew as fancy.
“The only thing that everybody has in common is that everybody is open-minded and supportive of the art and music scene in Providence,” Hadley said of her patrons.
“We’re all just cool people,” she said.
For more information, or if you just want to stop by, visit Askew Bistro & Entertainment Venue, located at 150 Chestnut Street in Providence. You can also call (774) 526-9736, or explore their website, www.askewprov.com. Don’t forget to check out their event schedule to see what is coming soon to Askew!