360 Fireworks Party

Friday, December 16, 2011


by Michael Monks 
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L-R: Gomez, Dumond, Chaney
A rough week for Northern Kentucky music fans that included announcements that Mad Hatter and the Southgate House would close turned out to be good news for three guys, each named Andrew. Andy Dumond, Andrew Chaney, and Andrew Gomez had spent much time searching out a location in which they would open a music venue of their own. The trio, friends since their time as students at Moeller High School in Cincinnati, were in discussions to open at Newport on the Levee in the old Shadowbox Cabaret, but when that deal was weighed down by technical complications such as capacity issues, the Andrews went back to the drawing board, but knew they wanted to open Banagarang's in Northern Kentucky.
"Covington was gonna be lacking and we wanted to follow in the footsteps of the Mad Hatter," said Dumond. When the space became available, he and his partners pounced at the chance and have spent the last few weeks cleaning up the former mid-century Buick dealership and making it their own. "It's hard, but nothing capable people can't pull off."
Dumond and Chaney (who is leaving his job as a video editor at Channel 5), while only 25-years old, already have experience in running a business. Together they operate Riverfront Media, a video production company that includes Jungle Jim's among its list of clients. The connection to the international grocer will offer a benefit to Bangarang's: the guys want to serve food, and not just any food, but really great tacos and salsa made famous by Gomez who is already well known in the bar scene for his taco nights at Longworth's and Village Tavern. "We're gonna have the best food for a place like this," Dumond boasted. "We'll have top-shelf hand-crafted carnitas, hand tossed salsas." Gomez's love for Mexican food was inherited from his father who is from Brownsville, Texas near the Mexican border. "I grew up eating salsa before I ate ketchup," Gomez said. He even bought a food truck with the hopes of someday soon driving around town, serving his signature creations.
As for the music, the guys have followed the local music scene for years including stints in their own bands during high school. They have landed three bands and a DJ for tonight's soft opening and seven musical acts for the opening night bash on Saturday. Though they live across the river (Dumond in Symmes Township, Chaney in Mt. Lookout, and Gomez in Oakley), they are excited for the opportunity and grateful to the City of Covington. "Everyone in Covington has been amazing," Dumond said. He cites assistant city solicitor Alex Mattingly, zoning specialist Andrew Juengling, and fire chief Chuck Norris as examples of those on the City staff that have been helpful to their cause. 
"Bangarang" was the battle cry of the Lost Boys in the 90s flick, Hook but Dumond, Chaney, and Gomez are not lost in Never Never Land. They have big hopes for their new venture and see it expanding someday. While no band has taken the stage yet, once you taste the salsa, you will know that these guys are in it to win it and are a welcome addition to Covington. Following the recent opening of flow - a shop for men across the street, Bangarang's will be second new business on the block in a span of two weeks, and with Gateway College's expansion looming, this neighborhood is on the verge of a renaissance.

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