Even after developer Scott Wolstein's $230 million project turns the north end of the Flats into a mixed-used neighborhood, nightlife will continue on the East Bank with a new club owned by Telecom Acquisition Corp., a company that has two liquor licenses, a parking lot, and six buildings south of the Shoreway bridge.
Roc Bar (1220 Old River Road) is located on the former site of the short-lived Club Atlantis. It's the smaller building adjacent to Scripts, the cavernous club that used to be Kaos. Open Thursday through Saturday, the venue hosts soul, hard rock, and metal DJ nights with spinners like Suspiria and Kristoff. It's also welcoming local bands (Keratoma) and smaller national shows (Jaclyn Bradley, from VH1's Breaking Bonaduce).
"It's a great, intimate room," says Keratoma's Tom Shaffner. "Just a bar and stage. It's not like the Flats of old, where you'd have to do five laps around the river to try to find a spot to park for 10 bucks. You can pull right up to the club and park right in front."
Alt-rock vets Sponge will play the club's first major show on Friday, March 7.
"We're testing the concept, to see if the Flats is viable as an entertainment district," says Telecom partner Michael Tricarichi. "What we're not doing is running a little mom-and-pop place and putting no money into it and letting it fall apart. [Club owners didn't] spend any money down here [before]. That just sucked the life out of the [area], until it came down."
Tricarichi's company also owns the neighboring hip-hop club Scripts and the building that housed the popular Odeon. The developer plans to open new restaurants in the adjacent River's Edge and Morrison buildings. He says the new clubs won't compete with the city's other big concert venues. Their final formats will depend on developments on the other end of the street.
"I don't think the Odeon is going to survive," says Tricarichi. "We're probably going to take down it and [former restaurant Buffalo Wild Wings next door], and build something nice. We need to figure out a niche to be compatible with what happens at the other end of the street."
• Cleveland metal heroes Chimaira will support Korn and Biohazard in an arena tour of Australia and New Zealand in April. "It's great," says Chimaira bassist Jim LaMarca. "We'll be playing to crowds of 15,000. After this, we'll be able to play there the rest of our career."
• The Velvet Dog (1280 West Sixth Street) will host a Got Sole Sneaker Showcase after-party on Saturday, March 1. The afternoon shoe show takes place at the Holiday Inn (Rockside Road and I-77). At 10 p.m., Terry Urban spins hip-hop on the club's second floor. The Cavaliers B-Boys and Illstyle Rockers will perform.
• Kill the Fall has finished recording its long-delayed second CD; no release date is set. Tracks like "Blood Soaked and Broken" are dark and somber, while others — like "Paper Thin" — have a Disengage-style diesel-rock vibe. Take a listen at www.myspace.com/killthefall. The post-hardcore-rock bruisers play the Jigsaw (5324 State Road, Parma) with the Gluttons on Saturday, February 29.
• Akron musician Jeremy Poparod has launched AkronMusicHub.com, a resource for musicians in the 330 area code. "Hopefully, it can become a tool to make everyone's life a little easier in the music scene," says Poparod.
• Ripper Watch: Long out of print, Winters Bane's Heart of a Killer CD is now available again digitally at www.myspace.com/timtheripperowens. The disc was recorded in Germany in 1993, with Tim "Ripper" Owens on vocals. "This is a CD that I am asked for all the time," says Owens. "This is a classic — my first real CD." Winters Bane guitarist Lou St. Paul has launched Fires of Babylon, an '80s-style shred-metal band. Check out audio at www.metalheaven.net.