There's a new place in Southside to enjoy live music in the Magic City. The "Iron City Event Center" celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting Thursday afternoon.
The building used to be an auto repair shop. But after two years and $6 million, it's now a 22,000 square foot live music venue with seating for up to 1,200.
This is Steve Demedicis' dream, opening up a bar in downtown Birmingham like his great-great grandfather did back in the 1800's.
"I'm not a musician, but I really enjoy listening to music, especially local musicians. I used to go see Topper Price play, and I just thought ‘Well if I could just make a nice place for Topper.' And I just kept adding on and it got bigger," Demedicis said.
Demedicis says he did a lot of bar research to see what kind of venue he wanted, and ended up creating a live music venue with a restaurant attached that has the bricked-in feel of an industrial area, with a million dollar sound and light system to showcase bands.
"Any great city you go to, they have live entertainment, and people are attracted to it. And this will act as a magnet to bring even more people to Birmingham," Mayor William Bell said.
Sound familiar? The venue looks and feels very much like WorkPlay, another live music venue that is less than a block away. So can both succeed?
Demedicis is confident they can.
"If you go to Austin or Nashville, there's a lot of music venues right next to each other. WorkPlay kind of pioneered this location, the Fish Market, we're kind of creating our own district here. I think the more venues like that the better," he said.
You can check out the lineup for shows online at www.IronCityBham.com.
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1720 Valley View Drive