NEW PORT RICHEY — Live music in a nice atmosphere is the ideal weekend for many people, especially if there are good drinks to go along with it. The Verona is a bar and live music venue that opened up earlier this year in New Port Richey. It’s attracting a lot of attention due to the clean and laid-back atmosphere, as well as the music performed by local talent.
The bar officially opened to the public on June 29th.
Evan Ursitti has been a musician for 24 years and has been performing for more than 15 years. He wanted to open up the type of venue that he would have always wanted to play because he was never impressed with the venues in Pasco.
“I’ve seen big stages and I’ve seen little stages,” he said. “It’s what I wish I had.”
He takes pride in the sound equipment that is used for the live music, which he believes is what can make or break a music act.
Half the battle is being a good band, but you need good sound in order to make you presentable, Ursitti said.
The owner named the bar after his metal band, Burning Fair Verona. He has produced the band for ten years, as well as played the role of guitarist.
Without any experience with running a bar or venue, he said he opened it up on a whim.
Through a Gofundme page and personal funding, he ended up with $8,500 to kick off the business.
Even though the bar can book music acts any day of the week, Friday and Saturday always feature someone on stage.
Meeting new bands and hearing something unexpected is what Ursitti loves the most about the job.
“The bands come in, shake my hand, and thank me for allowing them to play,” he said. Nearly every night he is “mind blown” by the artists that come in.
The entertainment is not limited by any means, with a variety of genres being performed such as hip hop, dubstep, rap, rock and metal. Ursitti wants to focus on original music from up-and-coming local musicians, as well as touring bands that want to make a stop in the area.
There’s a surplus of musicians in this area alone, he said. I’m trying to capitalize on that.
The atmosphere is very laid-back and comfortable, the owner said. Cleanliness is something mentioned in most of the Facebook reviews left by customers, which Ursitti takes personal responsibility for. He joins his employees every day to clean every inch of the bathrooms.
“I’m kind of a germaphobe,” he said.
Ursitti also believes the quick popularity stems from the safety of the venue. There is a no-tolerance policy for violence or fighting.
Along with live music performed by bands, there are also game nights and open microphone sessions.
Snacks are available for purchase at the bar.
The Verona is at 4319 U.S. 19 N. For more information, call 727 264-6126 or visit the Facebook page to see future scheduled events.