New Site Being Sought for 9 West Athens

Posted on:

< < Back to

Two men who hoped to open a music venue in a Stimson Avenue building are searching for a new location.

The Messenger reported earlier this month that Steve Irwin and Jacob Brister were planning to open a night club called 9 West Athens by late summer at 9 W. Stimson Ave. Their proposal also called for using the night club space for banquets and other events, and for educational opportunities

Brister said Friday that after meeting with the Athens code office it was learned that for the number of people they wanted to have at 9 West Athens, more parking would be needed.

Also, Brister said there were other issues with the building. Beams would have partially obstructed the view of the stage, and the roof was not conducive to having a solar system or strong enough for an outdoor patio area, he said.

The search is on for a new location.

Brister said buildings on East State Street and West Union Street are being considered to see if their plans could be adapted to them, but he declined to be more specific because no lease has been signed. The Facebook page for 9 West Athens asks for suggestions for locations, and Brister said they are still interested in hearing people’s ideas for a site. He said the Facebook page will continue to be used to update the public on their plans.

Although originally selected because of the address of the Stimson Avenue building, the plan is to keep the 9 West name.

“We like the sound of that. It has a nice ring to it,” Brister said.

Also, the focus is on finding a site that would be the largest non-Ohio University concert venue in Athens for “pretty much whatever Athens wants to hear.” The plan also would be to use the site during the day as a training center and for workshops.

As for having a bar, “at this point in time we’re not focused on that,” Brister said, although it could happen later. Also, he said that while the concert venue would have snacks and similar food items initially, it is still hoped that more extensive food offerings could be provided later in some form.

The owner of the Stimson Avenue building, Demetrios Prokos, had previously received a city permit and state approval for a banquet hall, kitchen and bar at that location. Those approvals remain in place.