Revived Hammerjacks Will Offer 'A Place Of Experiences'
The revival of legendary music hall Hammerjacks is inching closer to reality. The business owners plan to submit building permits in the next month and begin construction this spring, with the goal of opening by the end of the year.
Hammerjacks Entertainment Group CEO Kevin Butler and business partner Andy Hotchkiss (pictured) recently gave Bisnow a tour of the properties on Russell Street, the future home of a live music hall, bar and restaurant, nightclub, live music venue and outdoor beer garden totaling 60k SF.
Across the street from Ravens Stadium, the site will also have a private indoor and outdoor event space for small concerts, weddings and birthdays that will be available for rent.
The $14M redevelopment will include two retail spots, totaling 3k SF, that could be leased to a corner grocery store, coffee shop or restaurant.
Having a variety of uses will hopefully attract customers, even on nights without live music.
“Everybody now is all about experiences,” Hotchkiss said. “That’s what people want to spend their money on now. This is going to be a place of experiences. You come here to have a good time.”
With the help of general contractor Morgan Keller Construction, the owners are renovating the two-story, 1940 warehouse at 1300 Russell St, but will demolish two buildings at 1310 and 1320 Russell that were home to Paradox nightclub until last year. Architect Design Collective plans to paint 1300 Russell so it looks like the old brick, Hotchkiss told us. The entrance will contain a big, open atrium that spans the two floors.
Across the street, Butler has secured nearly 500 parking spots at M&T Bank Stadium, though the owners will encourage guests to take advantage of Lyft, Uber and taxis.
The concert hall will hold up to 2,500 but offer a flexible seating arrangement so it looks like it's at full capacity even during smaller concerts, Hotchkiss said. The owners are looking for a booking service to secure bands for the venue. While Hammerjacks was known for attracting metal bands, Hotchkiss told us the new incarnation will feature all music genres.
The owners will soon talk to neighborhood groups and will revisit the city’s Urban Design and Review Panel next month. Butler said he expects to go before the city’s liquor board in late February or March. Having received financing from People's Bank, the business partners are seeking additional funds from private investors.
Hammerjacks will be another anchor of a revitalized South Baltimore entertainment district that is slowly taking shape. The transformation began with the opening of Horseshoe Casino Baltimore in 2014. Since then, GAME Sports Bar opened, and the city is expected to issue a bid to redevelop 10 acres in the area. Other nearby developments include Caves Valley Partners' $275M apartment and retail project Stadium Square and a $120M upgrade at M&T Bank Stadium.
The original Hammerjacks was on Howard Street, not far from the new location, and was a popular rock club in the 1980s and 1990s. It reopened from 2001-2006 on Guilford Avenue. Butler (pictured) purchased the license to the Hammerjacks name in 2009.