Pub Adds Some Verve to Hunt Country Nightlife


(Wednesday, February 14, 2007 11:09 AM EST)

Visit Maxwell's Pub on a Friday or Sunday night, and the Irish-themed bar will be filled to the brim with the 20- and 30-somethings of Middleburg, enjoying the local music scene.

“Nobody else in Middleburg has live music,” said Paul Maxwell, the pub's owner. “You'd have to go to Purcellville or Warrenton to hear local music if we weren't here.”

The café that previously occupied the space of Maxwell's Pub invited local music acts to perform on Fridays and Sundays, and Maxwell kept with the tradition when he took over the business about five years ago.

Sunday nights might seem like an inopportune time to offer live music and try to draw a crowd, but in Hunt Country many people have Mondays off, since their weekends are filled with shows, races, hunts and other equestrian activities, Maxwell said.

The music acts are predominantly from the rock genre, and most of them are amplified, but a few acoustics acts also come through.

Amy Sullivan, owner of Country Boutique, which is right down the street from the pub, is one of the acoustic performers, and she most recently played in January.

“It was great,” she said. “It's a homey atmosphere and it's a fun place to listen to live music, especially with the fireplace in the winter and the porch that's open in the summer.”

Two of the most popular acts are brothers Brian and Andre Fox, who each perform once a month. They bring in crowds each time they play, and Maxwell plans on keeping them and other regulars on for the long haul.

Maxwell is always open to listening to new musicians, as well, and goes through CD samples all the time. Despite rock being the dominant music genre at the pub, Maxwell would like to introduce live Irish music to the club some time in the future.

In addition to live music, Maxwell is proud of the pub's high-quality food and the newly implemented smoking ban in the downstairs eating area and bar (customers still have the option to smoke upstairs).

But what really makes Maxwell tick as a pub owner is the people.

“I love to see the local guys come out and play, and it's fun to see people having a good time in your bar,” he said.

Maxwell's Pub is located at 112 W. Washington St. in Middleburg. For more information, call (540) 687-6443.

Live music is part of the scene at Maxwell's Pub.

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