Richard and Kim Emmett, longtime owners of the Garage, downtown Winston-Salem's gritty live-music venue, have sold majority ownership of the club to Brian Cole and Tucker Tharpe.
We wish them well — and you can too at the big "transition party" tomorrow night at 9 p.m.
Full press release after the jump.
You may have heard by now that Kim and I our transitioning out of operating the Garage and selling the majority ownership stake (we'll still be minority owners) in The Garage to Brian Cole and Tucker Tharpe.
Things kind of come full circle, as back in 1998 and 1999 Brian Cole hired me to work with him at Winston-Salem Events producing and programming the downtown outdoor music series (4th Street Jazz & Blues, Summer on Trade and Alive After Five).
Brian was actually involved in helping get the Garage off the ground back in 1999 and one of the first functions in the venue was a Speakeasy fundraiser for Winston-Salem Events.
Subsequently Brian went on to be a founder and owner of Foothills Brewery helping to secure the purchase of the building where the restaurant and bar are located and put together the ownership team for the business. Since then he's formed an investment company that has a stake in a number of nightlife businesses in downtown Winston-Salem.
Tucker Tharpe and I also trace our connection back to the downtown Events program. Around 2006 (can't recall the exact year) Tucker was hired by Jason Thiel at the Downtown WS Partnership to take over the production and programming for the downtown summer music series and Jason asked me to train Tucker in booking and production.
We feel these are the perfect folks to take over the operations of The Garage and inject some new energy, ideas, and vitality into the business.
Of course, after 12 years of operating the Garage, 25% of my life to date, I've got some interest in seeing the business not only continue on, but to grow and thrive, and I think these two folks give us the best opportunity to see that happen.
So, I kind of see this as closing the curtain on Act II of the Garage (from 2006 when Kim and I came back to town after our Angel Investors help keep the Garage open and to renovate the club until now) and the raising of the curtain on Act III.
Thus, we hope you can join Kim and I and new Garage owners and operators Brian Cole and Tucker Tharpe as we welcome them on board and celebrate the last 6 years (2006 - 2012) of Garage operations.
We'd love for you to join us on Wednesday, May 2nd from 5-8 (floating) to celebrate The Garage and the transition in ownership and/or for the show that night featuring Austin,Texas's Graham Wilkinson and The Dirty Names from Annapolis, MD beginning at 9 PM.
Thanks so much for your support of The Garage over the years, and we hope that you'll continue to support what many touring musicians have told us is one of the best live music performance venues in the southeast.