In a small town that is sometimes hidden by the bustle of nearby Philadelphia and neighbor Glassboro, things, entertainment thrives ever so subtly. Pitman, NJ has, for decades, been a dry town. There are no bars and there are no public displays of alcohol.
For a long time this was the case, and it still is save for the arrival of two breweries located literally under 100 feet from each other. Human Village Brewing Co. was the second brewery to open in Pitman, officially running as such in November 2016. The brewery has a quaint vibe and is quite reminiscent of the small town it is located in.
But what sets Human Village apart from other venues is that just last year it was the ever-so-rich Bus Stop Music Cafe. The old venue was around from 2005-2016, and featured live music, a wide array of vinyl, CDs, and cassettes for sale, and a very welcoming atmosphere. Live bands played every week and even sometimes multiple times per week.
That is where Human Village comes in.
Co-founder Emily Barnes spoke about the past at Bus Stop, stating, “We did attend Open Mic nights and shows at the Bus Stop before opening our doors as a brewery. They were always a fun time to hang out with friends and enjoy some live music.”
Barnes says she was born in Los Angeles and raised in Southern California. She is a student at Rowan University where she studies Chemical Engineering.
To her, open mics really meant something, as they did to the current landlord as well. “Music is part of what made the Bus Stop so special. When we talked with our landlord Vic for the first time, he said he wanted to keep the music alive,” said Barnes. She also said that the brewery held some open mics before the brewery became officially operating.
“A lot of local talent came to perform, some artists from across the country, and others from right in the Bus Stop’s backyard. They were run by Fran Corazo and Maltza Vee Entertainment. Fran, unfortunately had to leave us after receiving a full-time job which conflicted with Thursday nights.”
However, the new open mic here at Human Village Brewing Co. did not die off; not in the least bit. Barnes said that local Katie McCorry is a new host and that she “brings a new spin in that she knows musicians in the Philadelphia area.” Some people who performed at Fran’s Open Mics now perform at Katie’s. Barnes said that the transition from the closing of Bus Stop to the opening and operation of music at Human Village has been an interesting one. Some familiar faces pop in and some new ones are coming in too. “The crowd was always there and it remains today as well. They are quite popular.”
When asked about the lingering records on the wall that adorn the at least one entire side of the brewery, Barnes replied,
“We loved the vinyl albums and covers on the wall. We as a brewery are all music lovers and all grew up listening to classic rock with our parents, so it felt like home. The redecoration was a rebirth of sorts to show the transition from music cafe to music-loving brewery. Vic was kind enough to allow us to use some of his vinyl covers to frame and decorate. We went through them and chose artists together, which proved to be a fun experience.
The new music at Human Village doesn’t stop there. In addition to the open mics, the goal of having featured bands come in to perform is a realistic and promising one.