If you follow the local news at all, you may be familiar with the closing of James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy and why that important venue for Pittsburgh musicians was such a travesty. Although the charming spot in North Side has been vacated due to neighborhood noise complaints, the South Side has gained Kevin Saftner, the former owner of the musician-friendly gastropub. The previous Devils & Dolls (1713 E. Carson St.) has now been updated and converted into The Stage at Karma, a versatile venue aimed at highlighting various genres of entertainment, with diversity being the key ingredient.
Unlike the venues already established in South Side that concentrate on national acts, The Stage at Karma will focus on local talent, although they are not opposed to booking touring acts. Saftner (Sound Beacon Productions) and T.J. Harris, of bc1 Productions, are looking to book a variety of styles, such as jazz, soul, funk, R&B, jam, rock, metal and electronica/dance/DJ’s along with jazz jams, karaoke, and open mic nights. Owner Mike Papariella (who also owns Casey’s on Carson Street), brings with him an excellent working knowledge of running a bar and entertainment facility, as well as being a concert photographer and musician himself, helping to understand how to create the best environment. Thus The Stage at Karma is unique in that it is more of a live music venue with a bar, a bar that features 24 taps, craft cocktails and a varied selection of wine.
The Stage at Karma is a multi-room, multi-stage music venue and event space that holds approximately 150 in the bar area, while the main stage and the balcony can approximately hold 250. The unique space will allow for underage shows as well, if so desired, with the bar able to be completely closed off and run separately.