The worst-kept secret in the local music industry is about to become official.
After several years of renovations and months of negotiations, Historic Turner Hall is about to join the list of Milwaukee music venues.
For several weeks, the concert industry site Pollstar.com has listed a handful of shows for Turner Hall, including a Josh Rouse date Friday, Oct. 26, a show by They Might Be Giants on Friday, Nov. 9 and a bill with Bobby Bare Jr. and Lucero on Sunday, Nov. 11.
Officials at The Pabst Theater, who apparently will promote the shows at Turner Hall, have declined comment about the specifics while details of licensing and other logisitical matters were being finalized.
Apparently, the issues have been ironed out: word on the street is that more than a dozen new shows will be announced later this week.
Monday afternoon, we typed "turnerhall.org" into our Web browser and were directed to The Pabst Theater site.
Turner Hall, which is located directly across from the Bradley Center at 1034 N. 4th St., is known to many Milwaukeeans as a bar/restaurant that is famous for pre-and post-game beverages and a longstanding Friday fish fry.
The ballroom, upstairs from the restaurant, is a two-story, 7,000-square foot space with a 31x56-foot raked stage on the east end and an expansive balcony that sweeps around the west and north ends. Concerts in the ballroom are expected to comfortably handle crowds of about 600 people.
From the late 19th century on, the Ballroom was used for a wide array of social, cultural and political events. The ballroom was damaged by fires in 1933 and 1941, but the Turner Ballroom Preservation Trust was established by members of the Milwaukee Turners and was charged with renovating the room and preparing it for public use.
It is expected that Marc Solheim, who recently quit his gig booking shows at The Mad Planet to join The Pabst staff, will be involved in booking Turner Hall.
Stay tuned to OnMilwaukee.com for more on this story. In the meantime, here is a list of dates Turner Hall dates featured in Pollstar.com:
Friday, Oct. 26 -- Josh Rouse and Maria Taylor.
Friday, Nov. 9 - They Might Be Giants.
Sunday, Nov. 11 - Lucero and Bobby Bare, Jr.
Saturday, Nov. 17 - Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
Wednesday, Nov. 28 -- A Day to Remember, Bayside, Driver Side Impact, June, The Sleeping.