Organized Chaos: Meet Brownsville’s friendly, community Kraken - Brownsville Herald: Local News

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Organized Chaos: Meet Brownsville’s friendly, community Kraken

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Monday, November 25, 2019 11:03 am

Dannie Alvarado, 34, decided to take the plunge and open The Kraken Lounge in downtown Brownsville nearly four years ago. He knew it was a risk, but fond memories of growing up and visiting the stretch of historic buildings fueled his desire to participate in the revitalization of the city’s downtown.

It is a Wednesday night, and Alvarado is working behind the bar at the eclectic downtown space. He is fresh off the completion of his last event, an annual Día de los Muertos gathering held at Market Square for residents of all ages, complete with local mariachi and dancers.

“I love my city. I have a vision for downtown, and everybody down here is working to make this part of town a great place to spend time,” he said. The owner and organizer says he got the permits, found musicians, marketed the event, and even set up the barricades himself.

Alvarado is constantly organizing, coming up with new ideas, and working out logistics to bring community events to fruition.

“It can be hectic, but I love it,” he says, adding, “It was a no-brainer when I opened up a business down here. I knew there was a lot of potential. Once more places open up, I think things will be great in our downtown. We have the history here already.”

Alvarado grew up in Brownsville and has dedicated himself to creating a platform for the local art and music scenes. Banding together with the local businesses, he has organized annual concert series’, pub crawls, and family events to attract tourism to this part of Brownsville.

“I want people in Brownsville and people in the Valley to see the potential that’s down here,” he said from behind the counter. “It would be great for the city to have an entertainment district.”

The low-lit space is filled to the brim with gifted art, paintings by Alvarado and others, and trinkets left behind by regulars who use the space to display their creative work. Two inflatable calaveras are lit up at the entrance.

In the back of the bar, a stage is set up complete with a drum kit and amplifiers, ready for the local musicians Alvarado pairs up with larger acts he brings in from outside of town to help musicians who feel stuck in the Valley network.

“Growing up here, it was hard to walk into a place and ask to hang up your artwork or ask to play your music,” says Alvarado, who plays in two bands.

“Even in recent years, before I opened Kraken I had friends who owned bars who wouldn’t let me play original music. There just wasn’t a market for it,” he said.

The lack of creative spaces in the city pushed Alvarado to open his own space, with the surrounding community in mind. Next on his agenda is a potential pizza festival celebrating local pizzerias that would be held on National Pizza Day in early February.

Ultimately, Alvarado’s goal is to improve his community while laying the groundwork for others to do the same. He says he named the bar The Kraken in part because of the chaos of organizing.

“Sometimes I feel like I have all these arms, balancing the events, the business, and everything else. But, it’s important to support the people in your community. Our city has a lot to offer. That’s why I do it. Ultimately, we are making changes that this city needs.”

esheridan@brownsvilleherald.com

Follow us on Facebook

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




Online Features

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>