Aisle 5 celebrates grand opening with DJ Vadim and Fort Knox Five
The Five Spot's newest incarnation maintains the venue's communal focus.
UPDATE: Due to unexpected issues, the grand opening of Aisle 5 will take place on Fri., Oct. 10, with a performance by Dank Sinatra and the Quaildogs.
DJ Vadim, Fort Knox Five, and Chris Grass' Thurs., Oct. 2 show has been moved to the Basement. $12. 9 p.m.
Nick Weinberg never imagined owning the Five Spot when he promoted his first show at the staple Little Five Points venue in March of 2011. His promotional team, Reverb Entertainment Production, was still getting its feet wet bringing in an array of talent to venues such as Terminal West, the Basement, and even the Georgia Theatre in Athens. But two years later Weinberg received a phone call that opened up a unique opportunity — the chance to renovate and run a venue on his own terms. In early 2013, the 5 Spot owner Bryan Aust closed the venues doors and put it up for sale. The void left by the 5 Spot's nearly 12-year legacy reduced the neighborhood’s capacity for providing local artists with a stage to find audiences for nascent projects. “We want to keep the support the Five Spot gave to the local music community,” Weinberg says.
After the venue's closure, the only real haven for local music was the Star Bar, as the neighboring Variety Playhouse generally books touring acts. “We have to give a lot of credit to the Star Bar for keeping local music going," Weinberg says. "We're hoping to augment and rejuvenate L5P's musical community."
For weeks Weinberg has worked to finish renovating the venue in time for its grand opening show. Working alongside partners and co-owners Brian Deerfield and Richard Edge, the new space is dubbed Aisle 5.
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“The Five Spot had a reputation for doing consistent, quality shows with the local music scene. Those are big shoes to fill and we're going to do our best to take Aisle 5 one step further,” Weinberg says.
Aisle 5 maintains the communal philosophy of its predecessor, but its guts are brand new. Weinberg and his team have renovated the space with new air conditioning, new bathrooms, a renovated kitchen, new floors, and even a new stage with an updated sound system.
Russian-born hip-hop producer DJ Vadim and funk-reggae-rap fusion outfit Fort Knox Five headline Aisle 5's grand opening on
Thurs., Oct. 2. The lineup's hodgepodge hip-hop vibe encapsulates the kind of genre-less diversity that rests at the core of Weinberg's ideology for the new venue. “We want to make sure the artists that are coming, either local or national, bring in all types of people, not just one sect or scene,” Weinberg says.Though Aisle 5 has only a handful of shows booked over the next two months, Weinberg envisions hosting regular open mic and comedy nights to bolster the venue's local presence.
Weinberg is facing the culmination of his promotional dreams, but his focus rests on acknowledging the countless faces that have supported him along the way. He points out the extensive help he received from associates Pete Massey and Al Santana in addition to giving constant shout-outs to power players that crafted L5P's musical reputation such as Criminal Records and Variety Playhouse. “They've been incredible in introducing us to the neighborhood,” he adds.
Even as vision of Aisle 5's future dances around in his mind, Weinberg still cherishes the Five Spot as he saw it in 2011. “We never thought in a million years we would own the Five Spot," he says. "We're humbled by that fact and we're looking forward to lending our services to the community and building L5P back up as the center of arts and music in Atlanta."
Little Five Points is eager to prove the neighborhood's graffiti-laden walls aren't merely a picturesque backdrop for tourists seeking a safe view into Atlanta's alternative culture. The renewal of a crucial music venue in the iconic neighborhood will ensure that local talents have a new breeding ground.