The Jaxson

Jacksonville by Neighborhood => The Burbs => Topic started by: Downtown Osprey on September 18, 2015, 10:29:44 AM

Title: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: Downtown Osprey on September 18, 2015, 10:29:44 AM
Surfer The Bar which previously attempted to take over the space at Mangos will now replacing Freebird. Haven't found an article yet but here is the rendering.

(https://scontent-mia1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtf1/v/t1.0-9/12038147_1655302684712045_2658474732977125301_n.jpg?oh=6bed8b17112f6635c30e49220e4591bf&oe=569D54A6)
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: copperfiend on September 18, 2015, 10:38:27 AM
So is the Freebird just gone?
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: CityLife on September 18, 2015, 10:43:57 AM
They don't need a parking variance for this, which is why the Mango's location was nixed. I believe they plan to do a bar/restaurant, with some retail space. The westernmost area in the rendering is the proposed retail area, I believe.

I stayed at the hotel where Surfer the Bar is located in Oahu (where Forgetting Sarah Marshall was filmed) and it is a great venue. Losing Freebird will be a big loss to the local music scene (that other venues can hopefully fill), but this will be a nice addition to the Downtown Jax Beach dining and nightlife scene.
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: Captain Zissou on September 18, 2015, 10:45:36 AM
This isn't great, but it's what happens when you have a short sighted council who doesn't recognize positive development when they see it.  Surfer was going to open one way or the other, so they went from improving an eye-sore dive bar to taking over a landmark space. 
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: Tacachale on September 18, 2015, 10:48:34 AM
Yeah, it was very shortsighted of Jax Beach to keep them out of Mangos. Now we're losing one of the top music venues in the metro area and Mangos is still Mangos. The sad thing is, a public garage has been in the long term plans for 20 years. If they could ever get it together this wouldn't even have come up.
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: CityLife on September 18, 2015, 10:54:24 AM
Agreed CZ and Taca.

It will be interesting to see what venue fills the Freebird vacuum. I worry that it will be the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, based on some of their recent bookings (though their current lineup looks weak). If I was younger and more into the current music scene, I would be all over opening a mid size venue downtown.

Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: Houseboat Mike on September 18, 2015, 11:24:52 AM
So is the Freebird just gone?

From the Freebird website:

"UPDATE:  9/17/2015 - What's Happening @ Freebird Live

Freebird Live is in the process of being sold. However, we are still open and will continue to be until further notice, no closing date has been set.  Freebird Live has been a staple in the community for over 16 years and will continue to bring in great shows until further notice. Check our Concert Calendar for upcoming concerts, we look forward to seeing you soon"
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: copperfiend on September 18, 2015, 11:50:07 AM
Bummer. Saw some good shows there.
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: Bridges on September 18, 2015, 12:17:45 PM
Maybe downtown and the Elbow can start snagging some of those shows.  Jax is in need of a mid-sized concert location. 
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: Josh on September 18, 2015, 12:24:35 PM
Very disappointing.
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: Crabernacle on September 18, 2015, 12:32:15 PM
This is a real blow, Freebird has been my goto venue for years. It was the perfect size, big enough to not feel cramped yet small enough to make each show feel intimate. Are there any mid-size venues in town that will be able to step up and fill the gap? 
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: johnnyliar on September 18, 2015, 12:35:37 PM
Underbelly should be able to capitalize on this.
I saw a ton of good shows at Freebird, but it was really just an adequate venue.
Downtown has 1904, Underbelly, Burro, and the Florida Theater, I'm not sure there is a need for another venue in that area.

Now, If someone really went in and fixed up Murray Hill Theater and started booking great music, that could be a real competitor.
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: UNFurbanist on September 18, 2015, 12:57:15 PM
Man, this sucks. I really liked Freebird. I hope the downtown venues can start getting the types of acts they brought in. Some really great talent flowed through there.
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: Tacachale on September 18, 2015, 01:35:25 PM
Man, this sucks. I really liked Freebird. I hope the downtown venues can start getting the types of acts they brought in. Some really great talent flowed through there.

Some of the problem with that is that none of the smaller clubs are the size of Freebird, and things like the Florida Theater and the Times-Union Center are substantially bigger, and not really set up for those kinds of shows. The Ponte Vedra Concert Hall is probably the most likely to pick up the slack, but it's way the hell out there even for Ponte Vedra. This is going to be a real loss for the local music scene.
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: CityLife on September 18, 2015, 02:00:55 PM
Underbelly should be able to capitalize on this.
I saw a ton of good shows at Freebird, but it was really just an adequate venue.
Downtown has 1904, Underbelly, Burro, and the Florida Theater, I'm not sure there is a need for another venue in that area.

Now, If someone really went in and fixed up Murray Hill Theater and started booking great music, that could be a real competitor.

A good mid sized venue for Jax is probably around 750-1500. 1000-1250 would probably be the sweet spot imo. I don't believe Underbelly, 1904, or Burro are in that range...anyone know exact numbers?  Freebird is about 700. Florida Theater is 1900. Ponte Vedra Music Hall is 900.

The Florida Theater is currently more interested in booking bands like Air Supply and Kansas than currently relevant artists. When the Shaky Knees festival in Atlanta brought a lot of great talent close to Jax in May, I think the FT was the only major venue to not capitalize. St. Auggie Amphitheater got Wilco, Jack Rabbits got Built to Spill, and Ponte Vedra Music Hall got Neutral Milk Hotel. I actually contacted the booking agent at the Florida Theater about booking Tame Impala (arguably one of the best bands in the world of their generation) and even offered to front my own money to make it happen. Never heard back, and a few weeks later Tame Impala announced they were going to The Ryman, which is Nashville's FT equivalent.

I love Underbelly, 1904, and Burro, and the energy they have all brought downtown, but they are too small to bring in mid level global acts and up and coming stars. Either a major shift in the mission of the FT or a new mid size venue is really needed to truly grow "The Elbow" into a regional draw.

Like I said earlier and Taca just reiterated, The Ponte Vedra Music Hall stands to gain the most here. I refuse to ever attend the place on principal alone. Its the music equivalent of a fine dining restaurant in a Food Lion shopping center. Jax deserves a better mid level venue.
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: Downtown Osprey on September 18, 2015, 02:11:55 PM
I've yet to attend a show at Ponte Vedra Music Hall but I consistently kept seeing that great acts were performing there in a short amount of time. so in reality, it was already pretty much happening and this is the nail in the coffin.
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: CityLife on September 18, 2015, 02:25:15 PM
^St. Johns County administers the venue.

Its ridiculous that COJ has allowed SJC to dominate the local non-country music market, which is what the St. Auggie Amphitheater and PV Music Hall have done. Thanks a lot St. Nicholas....
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: Captain Zissou on September 18, 2015, 02:55:37 PM
What did St Nick do?
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: CityLife on September 18, 2015, 02:59:22 PM
What did St Nick do?

Fought to shoot down an Ampitheater at Metro Park back in the day.
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: Crabernacle on September 18, 2015, 03:16:12 PM
So, what's the likelihood of the Curry administration being more receptive to building an amphitheater in Jax? I don't hold out much hope, but I'm tired of so many bands passing us up in favor of St. Augustine.   
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: jaxlore on September 18, 2015, 03:18:35 PM
+1 on the amphitheater but this really was more of a midsized show joint.

I've seen some really good shows here. Would love to see them start to funnel some shows downtown.
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: JaxJersey-licious on September 18, 2015, 03:55:55 PM
Sad to hear, but is there any specifice reason why Freebird Live would want or need to sell? Didn't go there much but it was a great place.

With this live music void could there be a possibility of making Snyder Memorial a regular music venue once renovations are done?
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: Tacachale on September 18, 2015, 03:56:24 PM
So, what's the likelihood of the Curry administration being more receptive to building an amphitheater in Jax? I don't hold out much hope, but I'm tired of so many bands passing us up in favor of St. Augustine.   

St. Augustine Amphitheater is one of my pet peeves. The reality is that both that and Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, which are both run by the county, are successful in landing touring acts based on the metro area, not their individual communities. They're close enough to Jax that they can still draw a good crowd. All well and good, but neither of the venues are really set up to help build a good scene. They're just too remote from their communities, let alone the metro as a whole. They're actually very innovative reuses of buildings that are hard to adapt (the old outdoor "Cross and Sword" amphitheater for St. Augustine Amphitheater, a church for PVCH) but beyond bringing in some good acts, they're not doing as much for the local music scene as they would in a better location.

But, because they're run by the county, it would be hard for another venue to compete without similar assistance. I believe the metro is big enough for a lot more venues to thrive, but it's hard for anything to get off the ground.
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: Tacachale on September 18, 2015, 03:57:50 PM
Sad to hear, but is there any specifice reason why Freebird Live would want or need to sell? Didn't go there much but it was a great place.

With this live music void could there be a possibility of making Snyder Memorial a regular music venue once renovations are done?

I think Snyder could make a good music venue, but I don't know the size and layout situation.
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: Bridges on September 18, 2015, 04:02:03 PM
Always thought it would be great if someone would turn PS4 into a music venue. 

(http://citynoise.org/upload/36036.jpg)
(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRL4FxN_ro-IPR81LUiZIAt-P5glqopu48hfpmmmty0IxdF0_pn9A)

There might be some good potential venues over in the Brooklyn/Park St. area.  Some older buildings over there that can be reused and turned into a nice 1000 person venue. 
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: Tacachale on September 18, 2015, 04:03:26 PM
Always thought it would be great if someone would turn PS4 into a music venue. 

(http://citynoise.org/upload/36036.jpg)
(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRL4FxN_ro-IPR81LUiZIAt-P5glqopu48hfpmmmty0IxdF0_pn9A)

There might be some good potential venues over in the Brooklyn/Park St. area.  Some older buildings over there that can be reused and turned into a nice 1000 person venue.

If I was a millionaire I'd by PS4 and turn it into a venue called the Devil's School.
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: Downtown Osprey on September 18, 2015, 04:07:25 PM
How many people is the Amphitheater at Unity Plaza supposed to hold?
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: JaxJersey-licious on September 18, 2015, 04:42:00 PM
So, what's the likelihood of the Curry administration being more receptive to building an amphitheater in Jax? I don't hold out much hope, but I'm tired of so many bands passing us up in favor of St. Augustine.   

St. Augustine Amphitheater is one of my pet peeves. The reality is that both that and Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, which are both run by the county, are successful in landing touring acts based on the metro area, not their individual communities. They're close enough to Jax that they can still draw a good crowd. All well and good, but neither of the venues are really set up to help build a good scene. They're just too remote from their communities, let alone the metro as a whole. They're actually very innovative reuses of buildings that are hard to adapt (the old outdoor "Cross and Sword" amphitheater for St. Augustine Amphitheater, a church for PVCH) but beyond bringing in some good acts, they're not doing as much for the local music scene as they would in a better location.

But, because they're run by the county, it would be hard for another venue to compete without similar assistance. I believe the metro is big enough for a lot more venues to thrive, but it's hard for anything to get off the ground.

All right, can we just chill with the St Augustine jealousy? I remember years ago how all these awesome bands and tours would skip N Fla during the prime summer touring season because we lacked an adequate outdoor concert venue that couldn't stay up too late as to not upset the neighbors across the river. St. Augustine just happened to have the hindsight of refurbishing an already existing venue that was underused and in the middle of a state park bothering no one that now brings acts to the region that you would previously have to trek off to Tampa or West Palm Beach to see. So they're leaching on to the big bad Jacksonville SMSA that couldn't get their shit together and refusing to give JAX credit for giving them the market they need to be succesfull, is that what all the hating is about? MAybe they should just retitle the place "The Great Metropolitan Jacksonville Amphitheatre in St. Augustine Florida" to make you all happy?
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: Tacachale on September 18, 2015, 05:00:27 PM
So, what's the likelihood of the Curry administration being more receptive to building an amphitheater in Jax? I don't hold out much hope, but I'm tired of so many bands passing us up in favor of St. Augustine.   

St. Augustine Amphitheater is one of my pet peeves. The reality is that both that and Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, which are both run by the county, are successful in landing touring acts based on the metro area, not their individual communities. They're close enough to Jax that they can still draw a good crowd. All well and good, but neither of the venues are really set up to help build a good scene. They're just too remote from their communities, let alone the metro as a whole. They're actually very innovative reuses of buildings that are hard to adapt (the old outdoor "Cross and Sword" amphitheater for St. Augustine Amphitheater, a church for PVCH) but beyond bringing in some good acts, they're not doing as much for the local music scene as they would in a better location.

But, because they're run by the county, it would be hard for another venue to compete without similar assistance. I believe the metro is big enough for a lot more venues to thrive, but it's hard for anything to get off the ground.

All right, can we just chill with the St Augustine jealousy? I remember years ago how all these awesome bands and tours would skip N Fla during the prime summer touring season because we lacked an adequate outdoor concert venue that couldn't stay up too late as to not upset the neighbors across the river. St. Augustine just happened to have the hindsight of refurbishing an already existing venue that was underused and in the middle of a state park bothering no one that now brings acts to the region that you would previously have to trek off to Tampa or West Palm Beach to see. So they're leaching on to the big bad Jacksonville SMSA that couldn't get their shit together and refusing to give JAX credit for giving them the market they need to be succesfull, is that what all the hating is about? MAybe they should just retitle the place "The Great Metropolitan Jacksonville Amphitheatre in St. Augustine Florida" to make you all happy?

No, for the reasons I gave. The amphitheater is too remote from St. Augustine to have as much impact on the local music scene as a better located venue could (it's not well located even for St. Augustine, it's actually on Anastasia Island in the middle of a residential neighborhood, and it shuts down by 10:30). As I said, it was an impressive adaptive reuse of an old building, and they do get some good shows that might otherwise skip the market. But it doesn't have the impact it could.
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: camarocane on September 18, 2015, 05:23:05 PM
Always thought it would be great if someone would turn PS4 into a music venue. 

(http://citynoise.org/upload/36036.jpg)
(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRL4FxN_ro-IPR81LUiZIAt-P5glqopu48hfpmmmty0IxdF0_pn9A)

There might be some good potential venues over in the Brooklyn/Park St. area.  Some older buildings over there that can be reused and turned into a nice 1000 person venue.
This would be a badass open air venue!! I wonder how much it would cost to retrofit the school for something like that?
Title: Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
Post by: Chris904 on November 25, 2015, 03:40:04 PM
Sad to see Freebird go.