Author Topic: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird  (Read 8959 times)

Downtown Osprey

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Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
« 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.


copperfiend

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Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2015, 10:38:27 AM »
So is the Freebird just gone?

CityLife

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Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
« Reply #2 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.

Captain Zissou

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Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
« Reply #3 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. 

Tacachale

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Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
« Reply #4 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.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

CityLife

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Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
« Reply #5 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.


Houseboat Mike

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Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
« Reply #6 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"

copperfiend

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Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2015, 11:50:07 AM »
Bummer. Saw some good shows there.

Bridges

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Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
« Reply #8 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. 
So I said to him: Arthur, Artie come on, why does the salesman have to die? Change the title; The life of a salesman. That's what people want to see.

Josh

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Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2015, 12:24:35 PM »
Very disappointing.

Crabernacle

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Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
« Reply #10 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? 

johnnyliar

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Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
« Reply #11 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.

UNFurbanist

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Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
« Reply #12 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.

Tacachale

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Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
« Reply #13 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.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

CityLife

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Re: Surfer the Bar to replace Freebird
« Reply #14 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.