Business

What else could Bay Street ask for?

"New businesses moving into the hubbub of downtown Port Orchard are a somewhat common occurrence, but Bay Street got its first taste of something different last month when What Else Is There? opened shop on July 27.What Else Is There? features sports and music, but incorporates many elements of local talent and accomplishments. Owned by Karolene Dickens, Frank King, Brenda Hammond, and Ken Richmond, this business is angling to get people to notice all the Northwest has to offer.“We just kind of thought music and sports went together,” said Frank King. The name What Else Is There? stems from the insight of the owners that many customers and producers of sports and music triumphs “maintain a point of view that there is only sports and music—nothing else matters.”King and Richmond have been in two local bands together (previously Roman Fingers and currently Surgeon General’s Warning) and have known each other for seven years. Hammond and Dickens boast over 25 years of friendship, and the four partners have packed their idea of local promotion into the 600 sq. ft. former antique store, complete with a vivid and colorful grafitti mural (done by local artist Baby C) immediately visible upon entry.“It’s geared towards the musicians and athletes and artists,” said Ken Richmond. “They’re all entertainers, and (people are) tired of having a show where no one shows up.”“We have a lot of incredible talent in our area,” said Brenda Hammond.Merchandise displayed in What Else Is There? includes CD’s, tapes, cards, videos, books, clothing, pictures, memorabilia, art, and other collectables. “We’re slowly bringing more and more stuff in here,” said Karolene Dickens.What Else Is There? specifically targets Northwest and Kitsap Peninsula talent. Examples include big names like the Mariners and the Seahawks, but also well-known local football team West Sound Orcas (of which Frank King tapes all of their games), and bands like Polliwog, Silas, Clutch Cargo, and Five Smooth Stones.“We all just really think this is a good idea to get the local music out.” said Frank King. “People are not paying attention to their own local scene, and we’re going to change that.” Other services provided by What Else Is There? are CD duplication, photography, demo recording, label and cover design, bio/promo writing, video, and a promotion and publicizing plan for up-and-coming artists who want to kick-start their career.“We go a few steps further,” said Ken Richmond. “What we do is activate them up.”With press releases, record release parties (including an Aug. 31 show for local band The Drive at the Harborside Bar and Grill), tickets available for certain local events, and the proclamation of a warm, friendly and low-key atmosphere, the owners expect to be welcomed by the city of Port Orchard.“Everybody’s been like ‘It’s about time,’” said Karolene Dickens.“Our customers have been beside themselves, really,” said Brenda Hammond. “There’s a lot of curiosity involved.”“It’s a big range as there is no age limit—it’s everybody,” said Ken Richmond.“I think (downtown) needed something like this right now,” said Frank King. "

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