Family Piano has been hosting live music pretty much since we first opened our doors 15 years ago.
Even before we had a dedicated space for concerts, we’d scoot over inventory and set up chairs in Joplin’s Java to host friends and performers — two and sometimes even three times a week!
Eventually, we opened the Riverside Room. It came with more seats, better acoustics, and a more intimate vibe during performances. Concerts became a bigger part of our business, and it was exciting being able to offer our venue to talent and teachers.
It’s with a heavy heart that we now announce that we’re closing the Riverside Room indefinitely.
We’ve long been considering re-opening sometime this month, assuming better COVID conditions. But even if the virus died completely today, we think this decision is for the best.
For one, our venue has been impacted by construction going on in our building. This means that we lost a little chunk of the room, and a ton of storage space upstairs. As a result, the Riverside Room was repurposed into a training facility for techs at the start of the pandemic, and it’ll probably stay that way for some time to come.
Which is sort of another point: we want to focus on being a great piano store. It was difficult to manage a music venue and a piano store and a team of technicians (and School of Music). This decision means we can dedicate more time to doing what we do best. We want to support our local community and music overall, and we really think spreading the joy of piano is the best way we can do that.
Of course, we’re also still being cautious with the pandemic. We’ve reinstated the mask mandate, try to limit the amount of people that are in the store at once, and sanitize our showrooms regularly. We’re really grateful for how fortunate we’ve been throughout this pandemic. We didn’t have to cut anyone’s hours or lay anyone off, and we were all able to get vaccinated fairly quickly. Safety has been our biggest priority every day for the past year and a half, and it’ll continue to stay at the forefront of all our decision-making.
In the distant future, maybe the Riverside Room will return to being a dedicated music venue. And maybe we will tidy up for special events sometime in between. But we won’t be hosting weekly concerts and regular recitals in the Riverside Room for the foreseeable future.
It was a hard decision closing Joplin’s Java back in 2013. And it’s not much easier announcing this sort of thing the second time. But we’re confident this is the best choice given our resources and situation.
We do encourage everyone to go support other live music venues though! We’ll be updating the Riverside Room page with cool local venues in the area. And with a list of great artists that we loved hosting. Please keep up with them, and keep supporting music!
And to our teacher friends: we do apologize for any inconvenience! We have found alternate venues near both of our stores that’ll gladly host you and your students for recitals. Reach out if you’d like us to pass on the contact info. And reach out if you ever need anything else. We hope to continue supporting you however we can so don’t hesitate to contact us for anything music or piano related!
Thank you to everyone for your continued support and understanding. Family Piano is turning 15 this month, and we’re extremely grateful — sincerely.
We have some exciting projects we’ve been working on to celebrate, and we can’t wait to announce them. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date. Together, we’ll keep making music matter.