Kristin’s Riverwalk Supports Resurging Local Music Scene
Clinton J. Miller performs at Kristen’s in August. (City-Times photo)
By Karli Norton
Kristin’s Riverwalk is priming itself to become a new hub for a resurging local music scene.
Owner Kristin Mertes of Kristin’s Riverwalk has worked in the food industry for most of her life. Starting off as a waitress and bartender, Mertes developed a passion for the industry which eventually lead to opening her own restaurant. For 21 years Kristin’s Riverwalk has been in business, six of those years at the Stevens Point location.
Mertes said that she loves to cook and has always loved the atmosphere of the restaurant business and the customers she has met.
Now, Mertes wants to include another element to her passion.
“I love music, and we don’t have a lot of venues around here. I feel that we have a really nice setup for the artists and the people attending…. it’s a good atmosphere, safe,” said Mertes.
Kristin’s Riverwalk has always been a place for artists to perform, but now it is becoming consistent. Every Thursday evening Kristin’s Riverwalk holds an open mic night for all types of genres- from bluegrass, to death metal, to singer/ songwriter. Open mic starts at 8pm and lasts until midnight, with each performance lasting about fifteen minutes. Kristin’s also has live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
Each night is a different genre and group: ranging from rock, to electronic, to funk, and even bluegrass. Most acts are local including bands like Proto, the Hi-Matics, Boom 49, and Def Crew. The Riverwalk also holds karaoke once on month, with the next event on Friday, October 17th at 9 PM.
This Halloween Kristin’s will also host a costume party with electronic and techno band performances.
“It’s been a long project, but it’s all coming together,” she said. “Bands are performing out of passion and love for the location. For some, this was the first place they performed and now they are coming back.”
Not only is Mertes making the music scene consistent, but she also holds a poetry night every Tuesday after 6pm. Performers are given ten minutes to recite any type of poetry or comedy act that they would like, provided it’s “appropriate.”
Kristin’s is more than just a bar and restaurant; with a wide variety of craft beers, great food, and an ideal place for music venues, it’s becoming one of the places to be in the downtown area.
“We are that diamond in the rough, kind of,” she said. “Back when this place was a supper club, it was the place to be and we are going to be that again.”
Kristin’s Riverwalk is located at 1140 Clark Street.