A mix of students and nonstudents attended.
Paul and Josh Acoustic began the evening at 9 p.m. with a series of selections ranging from classic rock to blues, often taking requests from the audience.
“If we know half the chords, we’ll try it,” said Paul Gross, one half of the guitar duo.
Therapy took the stage at 11:30 p.m., changing the atmosphere with a set of originally-written soul and jazz pieces.
Alfred Body, band member, said, “It’s hard to put us in one category. We’re really eclectic.”
Both groups of musicians expressed enthusiasm about the venue.
“Absolutely love it,” Body said. “It’s not too much, and it’s not too little. It caters to a certain comfort level.”
The building now known as the Ale House operated as the Strutting Duck through the spring.
The Ale House occupied the same building prior to the opening of the Strutting Duck approximately one year ago.
The reason for the switch back has not been publicly disclosed.
“It didn’t work out, so we went back to this,” said James Joshua Motley, general manager.
Russ Widhalm, patron of the Ale House, greeted the venue’s reopening with enthusiasm.
“It’s not a ‘college’ bar,” Widhalm said. “That’s the big draw.”
Widhalm said he stopped coming to the bar while it was occupied by the Strutting Duck.
“A big reason I stopped coming here is they switched to the Duck, and they got rid of the brewery,” he said. “That was a big draw for me. They used to make their own beer.”
The brewery was one of the major features of the old Ale House before it became the Strutting Duck.
State law indicates that only certain historical buildings can be used as breweries.
According to Motley, the Ale House was once used as Auburn’s printing press.
“The only reason they could brew in this building was because it was a national historic site,” he said.
Although the bar has not reopened its brewery, Motley said there is a possibility operations may resume on a smaller scale in the future.
With or without the brewery, Motley is hopeful about the bar’s future success.
“It’s had its ups and downs, but hopefully, it’ll be nothing but ups from now on,” he said.
The Ale House features a new menu starting this week with a move toward more traditional pub food.
It will also host live entertainment throughout the week.
“Sometimes we have shows on Wednesday or Thursday, but we always have shows on Friday and Saturday,” Motley said.
The bar is host to a traditional Irish session Tuesdays at 7 p.m.
“It’s very unique to here,” Motley said. “I don’t know anyone else who does that.”
The Ale House will be open Monday through Saturday, with the bar operating from 3:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. and the kitchen open from 5 to 10 p.m. The kitchen will make an exception for brunch Sundays following home football games.