10 things happening in the Rojo Side Room this fall, including concerts and special community events

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Customers at the Rojo Sideroom. Photo courtesy of Rojo

Many people know about Rojo, the popular Highland Park neighborhood restaurant, but did you know they also have a party and event space?

The Side Room at Rojo

Rojo opened in 2002 and owners Laney DeJonge and Clark Lopez wished they had extra space for party rentals and special events. In 2005 the space next to the right of Rojo became available and they opened their “Side Room” in December of that year.

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Rojo owners Laney DeJonge and Clark Lopez. Photo by Jana Sobel

“We were going to give it a different name to make it like a cool separate bar next door with its own events going on, but we also wanted to make sure people realized that it was still part of Rojo and that they could order the same food in there. We kept calling it the “Side Room” and over time that has become its name,” said Laney

The Side Room can be rented for parties, corporate lunch meetings, sports viewings, and almost anything. It holds 45-50 people seated and more for events where people stand and mingle. Rojo also holds community and arts events in this room. You can sign up for their email list for events or check Rojo’s calendar at www.rojobirmingham.com .

More than a “room”

Over the years the Side Room has held book signings, vintage t-shirt sales, video game nights, debates, bad poetry contests, game shows, karaoke, art shows, music and more.

Here are 10 things happening in the Rojo Side Room soon:

Sol Musica

One Sunday a month, Arturo LaCruz (www.facebook.com/SolMusicaUS) brings musicians together to create a unique musical experience.

Experience Inka Jazz and music textures from close and afar, blending World and Afro-Peruvian Sounds, Latin Jazz, bolero/salsa, Eastern, Spy Cinema and more. Next show is Sunday, October 7, 6PM.

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Sol Musica performers from left Geni Skendo, Arturo LaCruz, Dave Crenshaw, and Kurt McKenney. Photo by Pamela Buwalda

Theme Show Comedy Night

Also one Sunday a month, local and guest comedians are given a theme that they must use for their stand-up material for the evening. Comedians Tollie Jones and Peter Davenport host the show with themes such as “Back to School,” “Space,” and “The Most Dangerous Game.” The next show is Sunday, September 16 at 7:30PM.  September’s Theme is “Magical Realms and Fantastical Fools.”

Comedy Night at Rojo. Photo courtesy of Tollie Jones

Art Shows

Regularly on the first Thursday, Rojo has an opening art show to feature a local artist with the art being displayed for that month. The September art show that is on the walls now is “Attitudes of Color” by Natalie Zoghby (www.nataliezoghby.com). Next show is art by Ann Cohen (www.anncohenartist.com) opening Thursday, October 4 at 6PM.

Sidewalk Salons

On the first Tuesday of the month, Rojo hosts Sidewalk Salons. For 16 years, Rojo has hosted these fun gatherings by Sidewalk Film Festival (www.sidewalkfest.com) for people in the Alabama filmmaking community to discuss topics such as film music, casting, recording sound, etc. Next Salon is Tuesday, October 2. Topic is Sidewalk Film Festival Feedback. Networking at 6PM, presentation at 7PM.

Photo courtesy of Sidewalk Film Festival

Other Music Shows

Besides the monthly Sol Musica, Rojo hosts different local musicians of various styles that perform original music. Coming up September 23 at 6:30PM, Raquel Lily, a local musician and streamer who will be streaming live on Twitch for this show.

Pub quiz

Every Wednesday Rojo holds Pub Quiz Trivia Night with rotating guest hosts. Celebrating its 10-year anniversary of pub quiz this year, Rojo has one of the longer running trivia nights in the city. Always free to play and the winning team gets a $120 Rojo gift card, plus smaller prizes for others winners.

Members of “Shut Up & Color” (from left) Justin Johnston, Sue Martindale, John DiPlacido, Rhonda Kraft, Jonathan Daughtry, Matt Grainger, and Gerald Stephens. Photo courtesy of Gerald Stephens

Football and Soccer Parties

Whether you are into American Football or Futbol, Rojo hosts viewing parties for both in the Side Room. Rojo is an official Arsenal viewing location www.arsenal.com/usa/news/features/arsenal-bars for the Magic City Gooners but also shows other soccer games throughout the year on the 100” screen. Rojo also shows Auburn and Alabama football games as well as other big games.

Photo courtesy of Rojo

Party Rentals

Rojo’s Side Room is a popular place for rehearsal dinners, birthdays, reunions, corporate happy hours, lunch meetings, baby showers, and holiday parties. Call Belinda at 205-328-4731 to book an event.

Photo by Jana Sobel

Movie Clubs

Rojo periodically hosts different movie clubs that want to show films and educate the public on specific film genres. Most recently, Magic City Midnight Movies (www.magiccitymidnightmovies.com) has been hosting horror film viewings at Rojo. The next Magic City Midnight Movies viewing at Rojo is on Tuesday, October 30. Doors open at 6PM, screening at 7PM.

Photo courtesy of Magic City Midnight Movies

Special Events

Rojo likes to do special events in the Side Room, especially for the holidays. This Halloween, the Highland Park Neighborhood is having a “Highland Halloween Trick or Treat.” Rojo’s Side Room will host vendors from Magic City Mystics doing astrology and tarot readings from 7-9PM and music by The Old Paints at 9PM (along with a photo booth and a special Halloween trick-or-treat station outside)

A Community Space

From party rentals, community meetings, pop quiz, art shows, concerts and much more, the Rojo Side Room is the Highland Park neighborhood’s  community space.

Photo courtesy of Rojo

Connect with this special place, where neighbors gather together, have fun and build community.

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Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.