New rooftop bar as part of Kilburn Mill redevelopment in New Bedford

NEW BEDFORD – Kilburn Mill has a new concert venue: Rooftop at the Cove. Every Sunday, the mill offers guests a special concert at sunset.

“Some people come just for the music. Some people come just for the vibe and some people come just to get away from it all and have some fun, ”said Robb DeSimone, General Manager and COO of the Kilburn Hotel Group.

“We want to be a little something for everyone. “

Since May, the third floor has hosted a series of weekly “Sunday Sunset” concerts on its 7,000 square foot rooftop terrace from 5 pm to 9 pm. This is another new attraction to welcome to the historic Clark’s Cove Mill.

“It’s an interesting and fun space to experience,” DeSimone said. “It’s great that this historic building has been rehabilitated and brought back to life.”

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Built in 1903, the Kilburn Mill as a cotton and textile factory, it expanded in 1910 to become the current complex of three buildings. Located at the tip of the New Bedford Peninsula, the Mill has been a favorite spot for boutiques, antique stores, entertainment, a yoga and ballet studio, doctor’s offices, coffee, food And many more.

In addition, the Kilburn Craft Center houses 35 art studios and a resident gallery. The Nightstage Performance Center is an intimate experience featuring regional and national performers, TedXtalks, and comedy. On the first floor is the Do Co Cafe and the second floor has a selfie museum.

Inside the Nightstage Performance Center in the Kilburn Mill.

On the third floor, the rooftop bar can accommodate up to 450 people. There are two adjacent rooms: the Dartmouth Room, which has a capacity of 225 seats, and the Main Kilburn Room, which can seat up to 500.

Both bedrooms have full-scale windows that frame a view of the creek. The venue has already been rented out for weddings and other events throughout the year.

Transform the mill

“It was an incredible transformation. We are also building a shopping center on the first floor, ”said DeSimone. “We are looking at the space on the third floor now, because we have a lot of space up there that is not yet in use, and we are looking at how to develop that. “

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DeSimone says he best describes the vibe of the space as “industrial chic,” as it can be both stylish and rustic. But there will always be an industrial side.

Inside the Dartmouth Hall on the third floor of Kilburn Mill.  When the weather cools, the Sunset Concert Series will move to this location.

“We are not modernizing the mill to make it look like a modern building,” DeSimone added. “We try to keep it where it relates to its original use. And just remind people that it is possible.

Inside are light fixtures recycled from mill artifacts, such as a bicycle converted into a stairwell chandelier. In the bar area, the shelves are made of wood found in the basement.

“We’re trying to integrate some things and show this creative way of using them, reusing them and turning them into something fun and useful,” DeSimone said.

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One of the cocktail spaces will have “museum-style exhibits” reminiscent of the textile industry, according to DeSimone. He will link it to the history of New Bedford. The hope is to build small displays around the mill that pay homage to the city.

“New Bedford has such a great history. And we try to give him a nod throughout, ”he said.

A view from the roof of Kilburn Mill.  The rooftop bar is open on Sundays from 5 to 9 p.m. for a series of sunset concerts.

Future renovations

DeSimone took over the general management of the hotel group last year. Born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, he has resided in New Bedford for 30 years. “I’ve been here long enough that I’m almost a native,” he said with a laugh.

He was originally the owner of the old Tattoo Turtle Cafe in downtown New Bedford in the early 2000s. He was also restaurant manager for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. He was working at Seaport World Trade Center and museums at Harvard, MIT and Symphony Hall.

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DeSimone says that over the next year, the plan is to build more bathrooms and build an exit in the center of the factory as another escape route. Then the construction of a restaurant will begin to accompany the place of the third floor.

“We have already bought all the equipment; we have the plan for it, we just have to make it happen, ”DeSimone said.

The restaurant will have a family sports bistro-bar atmosphere. There will be a larger bar built in the center of the rooftop area. DeSimone hopes the renovations will be completed by early summer 2022.

Papa-O performs at the rooftop bar at Kilburn Mill.

The rooftop bar

For now, the Sunday concert series will continue as planned, featuring local musicians. The range includes: The concept October 17, Trio of black Rhodes October 24, Gunpowder and lead October 31 Jake Ash Band November 7 Neal McCarthy and his friends October 14, TRUE November 21, Rayz ‘Havoc November 28, Honey Radio on December 5, Neal McCarthy and his friends on December 12 and G and his friends December 19.

The rooftop area has a full bar as well as a small menu with items like flatbread pizzas, nachos, pulled pork, crab cake, and potstickers. Customers can also try the award-winning chowder, which ranked second in the 2021 Blount Fine Foods New Bedford Seaport ChowderFest.

The Rooptop bar features lawn games such as Connect Four, Corn Hole, and giant Jenga blocks.

There are also lawn games such as a giant Connect Four and a large Jenga blocks, located next to Tom Brady’s planters that once stood in his Boston home.

When the weather gets colder, the entertainment will move to the Dartmouth Hall.

“It’s a slow realization,” admitted DeSimone. “But, he grows and grows. I think it’s a hidden gem right now.

“But I think as it spreads, this will be the place to be.”

Standard-Times writer Seth Chitwood can be contacted at [email protected]. Follow him on twitter: @ChitwoodReports. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard-Times today.

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