For Atlantans who find themselves depressed about the uncertain future of local music institutions like the Masquerade and Smith's Olde Bar, a ray of funky sunshine is beaming in the Old Fourth Ward. At the cusp of Historic Fourth Ward Park, and across the street from Bantam Pub, a unique restaurant/bar/music venue/entertainment concept called Venkman's is set to debut in mid-September.
The brains behind the operation belong to a local chef (Nick Melvin) with stints at Parish and Empire State South on his resume — and two of the front men from silky-smooth cover band Yacht Rock Revue. According to the AJC, the venue will occupy a former NuGrape Soda Factory building on Ralph McGill Boulevard, offering "creative comfort food" and a wide range of live music, from bluegrass to funk. The space, designed by local firm ai3, will be one large room with an aesthetic that pays tribute to vintage lounges. And unless the proprietors are joking on Facebook, the venue is named for Bill Murray's character (Dr. Peter Venkman) in "Ghostbusters."