A 3D rendering of initial plans for the new venue 9 West. (Facebook)

New Venue Planned to Open This Summer

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A new dance club, bar and banquet space is planned to open late this summer on Stimson Avenue under the name 9 West.

The business will inhabit the building currently occupied by Luxury Auto Wholesale and Trucks by Design. According to the two men behind the business venture, the Trucks by Design will remain a tenant of the building.

The business is owned by Steve Irwin and Jacob Brister. According to Brister, the 10,000 square foot space is planned to house two or three small restaurants in the front with a large space for a nightclub that is said to have a projected capacity of about 1,200.

The large nightclub space will also be used for cultural events, weddings and banquets and also educational opportunities.

Brister said he and Irwin are open to suggestions regarding what kind of programming and performances the community would like to see at the venue. He said there has been a demand in Athens for a larger space to host events.

Irwin will also bring nearly 40 years of lighting design experience to the venue, which he said will have amazing lighting and audio capabilities.

“When we did our research on the interest in such a club and event center that offered so many options for fun, enjoyment and even learning, the response as you might imagine, was very favorable,” Irwin said. “Especially for the younger people, we really want to provide a lot of safe alternatives for those who might feel left out on Court Street, but of course as well offer a great space for the big shows and events Athens has been missing out on.”

Irwin said the primary focus of 9 West will be to serve the city and the surrounding community.

“We strive to serve the community because we have deep roots here that trace back decades. We sincerely care about bringing projects and events that allow the city and county to feel safe and at home when visiting 9 West Athens; and even more importantly, when returning home that night,” Irwin said.

According to Brister, 9 West will offer some sort of shuttle service to ensure that people are not driving home intoxicated.

Construction is anticipated to begin in the next few weeks with a proposed opening scheduled for mid-August at the latest. Brister said the plan is to hire at least 25-30 full time employees and another 10-15 part-time positions.

The building, owned by Demetrios Prokos, was part of a federal lawsuit filed against the city in 2011 by Prokos and his tenant, Christopher Stotts. The lawsuit was settled at the beginning of 2014, shortly before it was scheduled to go to trial. They sued after the city would not issue permits for a strip club. The settlement, according to a joint announcement made in January 2014, called for the city’s insurance company to pay $425,000 to Stotts and Prokos, and Stotts would withdraw zoning permit applications for an adult entertainment business.

For information about 9 West, visit