Ziggy’s Music Club Reopening In Winston-Salem
Jay Stephens, the longtime owner/operator of Ziggy’s, announced Wednesday morning that he will build a new 14,000-square-foot club at the north end of the Twin City’s Arts District on a vacant two-acre tract of land. It’ll be at the corner of North Trade and Ninth streets. Right now, that land is overgrown with weeds, with an abandoned warehouse. But by next March, the land will be taken up with a music club that can hold at least 1,000 people. It’ll be at least a $1 million two-story structure with a bigger stage, a better sound system and better bathrooms than the old Ziggy’s, a big barn of a building at the dead-end of Baity Street near Wake Forest University. Stephens says he expects to start construction in early September. And he expects to bring back the same kind of music lineup that made Ziggy’s on Baity Street one of the must-stop spots along the East Coast for any band.
In the past, artists like The Black Crowes, Widespread Panic, George Clinton, Leftover Salmon and David Allan Coe played at the old Ziggy’s. And what’s on tap for the future Ziggy’s? It’ll be a lot of the same, just like what you saw on the sign over the stage: roots, rock and reggae.
Ziggy’s on Baity Street closed nearly three years ago when Wake Forest bought the property — Stephens won’t say for how much — and turned it into gravel parking lot for the school’s new BB&T Field. Ever since, Stephens looked to open up a new Ziggy’s. A Wake Forest grad from Maryland, Stephens had run Ziggy’s since 1991, and he always looked for a spot in his adopted hometown. He once had a potential spot on Sixth and Main streets in downtown Winston-Salem, but it didn’t work out. It cost too much. So, he kept looking and kept booking shows at various places under his “Ziggy’s Presents’’ moniker. Meanwhile, Stephens also had offers from people interested in buying the name and opening up another Ziggy’s in cities like Greensboro and popular spots like High Rock Lake. But Stephens always said no.
But Stephens announced Wednesday that he has joined a development group in Winston-Salem he declined to name and brought in two investors from YES! Weekly — publisher Charles Womack and marketing executive Brad McCauley of the local alternative newspaper — to provide the cash and the expertise to pull this off. Now, he can’t wait to get started. “I can sleep only three hours a night,’’ says Stephens, 43. “I get up early because I’m so happy that I can go to work. I’m euphoric.’’