Several Athens music venues recently changed ownership – and names – in recent weeks. Let’s do a little catching up, shall we?
The Melting Point – a comfortable haven for local and touring singer-songwriters, country, jazz, blues and ripened rock acts – is in the process of transforming into The Foundry, following its sale (along with the adjacent hotel, the Foundry Park Inn) to Chicago company AJ Capital Partners. Aside from minor tweaks, there’ve been no major changes, although the hotel has likewise undergone a name change to the Graduate Athens.
After running Savannah’s Live Wire Music Hall for five years, brothers Brenden and Daniel Robertson moved to Athens last year and took over as production manager and general manager of New Earth Music Hall, a scrappy performance space that has showcased a variety of genres, but primarily electronic, psychedelic and jam-oriented sounds. Now they’ve purchased the building and rechristened the club Live Wire Athens, promising a solid schedule of local, regional and national acts of all types plus food trucks and a beer garden outside. While the revamped room has already been hosting shows, an official grand opening is set for Feb. 5th with Savannah-based reggae act Passafire.
Finally (for the time being), former Georgia Theatre owner Wilmot Greene has sold the nearby Green Room – a much smaller, club-sized room – to Bryan Gay, owner of Valdosta’s venue and eatery Ashley Street Station. No word yet on any name changes or reopening date (the room closed at the end of last year.) After coming back strong following its rebuilding and renovation in the wake of a devastating fire in 2009, Greene also sold the Georgia Theatre last summer to Georgia-based investment group Agon, although no changes of any significant matter were or are currently planned for that historic former cinema.