June 24, 2019
Bubba’s Brewhouse: Bringing Music to a Small Town
By: Jenna Paulus, Public Relations Manager, Deluxe
In our “Small Business Stories” series, we hit the road to interview small business owners about their unique journeys. Each story provides inspiration and insights, while shining a spotlight on the passionate small business owners who are so critical to our economies and our communities.
Paul and Jennifer Steen have a passion for music. When they opened Bubba’s Brewhouse in Durant, Oklahoma three years ago, they knew they wanted the venue to feel like home for bands and musicians who played. Paul wanted to create a space that he would have wanted to play during his career.
But having a large music venue in a small town is not always easy. Durant itself is in a great location, between two major music markets of Oklahoma City and Dallas, but Paul and Jennifer had to build the reputation before they could start attracting bigger talent to their venue. And along the way, they’ve struggled with people who haven’t supported them, who said they wouldn’t survive in a small town; but pushing past those naysayers was only the beginning.
Now that they’ve landed their niche as being a home away from home for bands who play, and have gained national attention for their venue, they to continue to attract not only bands to play, but customers as well. With an outdoor seating area that holds 2,000 people, getting customers in, is sometimes the hardest part.
Jennifer utilizes social media, their website and emails to attract customers who might be interested in the bands playing. They rely heavily on social media to do giveaways, contests and stream live videos of shows because budgets won’t allow them to spend money on certain paid advertising. Creating relationships within the community and building a good rapport with people, has helped them thrive in Durant.
For Paul and Jennifer, they’ve given value to their product, by bringing in bands that people know, creating a space people enjoy coming to and being that home away from home for their bands. They’ve built their business up in the last three years to be so popular that they’ve not only won awards locally but were even the only Oklahoma music venue nominated amongst some of the largest Texas venues.
Small towns across the country have a wide array of businesses, but Paul and Jennifer Steen show that with a strong passion for what you love, and the right tools and work ethic, you can bring any type of business to a small town.