The Austin Chronicle

Former Red 7 Space Lands a Music Venue

By Kevin Curtin, September 23, 2015, 1:07pm, Earache!

Austin’s live music faithful have been battered with bummers all summer via Red River’s Seventh Street corridor, notably the shuttering of clubs Holy Mountain and Red 7. Today’s news brings hope to the district. A new venue will take over the former Red 7 building.

“We signed a five-year lease on the old Red 7 at 611 East Seventh Street last week and it’s going to be a music venue,” Johnny Sarkis confirmed via email this morning.

In addition to Sarkis, a former partner at Red 7, ownership at the new venture includes Hotel Vegas owner/operators Jason McNeely and Brian Tweedy, Flesh Lights guitarist Max Vandever, and Cliff White. The group hasn’t announced the name of the venue and plans to keep progress of the project private.

“We’re going dark for a while and taking some time to create a space and brand that we’re all excited about,” wrote Sarkis. “Stay tuned.”

McNeely will handle the lion’s share of booking at the new space. He and Hot Burrito Productions partner Tweedy have a laudable track record as venue booker/managers. After transforming Spider House’s fledgling venue annex into a popular rock & roll hang, they exited to sign on as co-owners of Hotel Vegas in 2012, upgrading it from an underachieving dive into one of the Eastside’s most vibrant music venues.

Given McNeely’s booking expertise, the building’s two-stage setup should survive. Considering he sold out last night and tonight’s siege by psychedelic garage-rock favorites Thee Oh Sees in Hotel Vegas’ expansive backyard, he seems to have a handle on bigger concert programming.

Red 7 closed on August 28 after not being able to negotiate a new lease with the landlord.

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