Whatever Free Times wants, Free Times gets, apparently. In last week’s cover story, we identified 24 things that we thought could improve Columbia. Among them was a mid-sized concert venue that could attract the types of acts that dot the calendars of regional clubs like Chapel Hill’s Cat’s Cradle and Charleston’s Music Farm.
Well, we might be able to cross one of those off our list: According to documents submitted to the city’s Design/Development Review Commission, Vista bar Tin Roof hopes to renovate the vacant warehouse next to it on Senate Street into a concert hall and beer garden. The proposal is a joint venture between Tin Roof and the team behind Charleston’s Music Farm.
(Actually, the proposed beer garden would knock out two of our wish-list wants. Score!)
The venue would be called The Music Farm at Tin Roof. It would boast an estimated capacity of between 1,200 and 1,500, says Trae Judy of Music Farm Productions, which owns The Music Farm in Charleston. At its biggest estimate, the estimated capacity is almost twice as large as Charleston’s Music Farm; even at its smallest estimate, it’d still be larger than Asheville’s Orange Peel, which has a capacity of about 1,100.
The Music Farm would handle the music booking.
The plan’s contingent on committee approval; because Tin Roof is in the city’s City Center Degisn/Development District, the expansion must meet certain guidelines and stay within certain restrictions. But city staff’s comments in the evaluation sheet don’t seem to express any significant qualms about the plan. The D/DRC approved the proposed plan on Thursday. Construction will start after the new year.
Tin Roof currently hosts live music, typically on weekends, and typically singer-songwriters and bar bands on the small-time Southeastern circuit. But it’s set up temporary stages in its parking lot to host concerts by larger, typically country-leaning acts like Dierks Bentley and Darius Rucker.
The new space would fill a large gap in Columbia’s music scene, which currently lacks a mid-sized venue for touring acts too large for New Brookland Tavern but not large enough for the Township Auditorium or Colonial Life Arena. Many of those acts bypass Columbia for towns like Charleston, Charlotte, Chapel Hill, Asheville and Athens because those cities have the venues to accommodate them. While several medium-sized rooms live on in the long-term memories of scenesters — Elbow Room, Headliners, Senate Park, Huger Street Concert Hall — Columbia’s been without a medium-sized room that consistently books live music since Five Points Pub closed in May.
Too, bringing in an established name like the Music Farm helps establish instant credibility with booking agents, as the Music Farm has ready access to big-name performers. Any act wanting to play Charleston’s Music Farm, an 800-capacity room, could be routed two hours west to the Music Farm’s bigger sister venue.
Judy, who works for the Charleston-based Music Farm but lives in Columbia, says he hopes for the new venue to be open by the summer.
A version of this story first appeared at free-times.com.
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$7 Special Summer Menu at Tony’s Downtown
Stop in and try our special $7 summer menu (tax and drink included!) at Tony’s Pizza & Italian Eatery, downtown Columbia. 1120 Washington St., Suite 2.
The Castle Summer Camps
Clown Camp: Ages 7-12. Week of July 28 • Zombie Camp: Ages 10-15. Week of August 4. $125 per camp, discounts for siblings! 2076 Hwy Church Rd. 803-309-5586. TheEventCastle@yahoo.com
A Healthy Happy Hour
4-7 p.m at Good Life Cafe on Main St. Try our $4 local draft beers, $4 organic wine, 1/2 off select bottles of house wine and $5 handcrafted house cocktails with juices cold pressed and made daily. Click here for more info.
Make your own beer and wine!
Come get started on your “liquid hobby” and help us celebrate our 46th year in the Columbia area. Bet Mar Liquid Hobby Shop, 736 St. Andrews Road. Click to find out how!
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Local restaurants serving locally grown food during Palmetto Tasty Tomato Restaurant Feast, July 11-18: