Fan venue owner ready for second act

Matt McDonald, vice president, and Rand Burgess (Photo by Michael Thompson.)

From left, Matt McDonald, vice president, and Rand Burgess (Photo by Michael Thompson.)

Eyeing an opening he sees in the local concert market, the owner of a Fan-area bar and music venue is adding another location.

Rand Burgess, owner of The Camel, this month will open The Broadberry as an event space and restaurant at 2729 W. Broad St.

Burgess is leasing the 8,000-square-foot-space, which is just up the street from The Camel at 1621 W. Broad St.

“I saw that there was a void for that size of room,” Burgess said. “It’s for bands that are on the way up that have the ability to sell out smaller rooms, but maybe not The National.”

The Broadberry will be able to hold about 350 people; less than The National downtown and more than The Camel. Nu Nightclub most recently occupied the space.

Burgess, who bought The Camel in 2008, wouldn’t say how much he’s spending to move into the space, but no major renovations are planned. It will have a full-service restaurant.

Boot LLC, a real estate holding company controlled by Julian Ottley and Scott Boze, owns The Broadberry property.

“He’s got a proven track record of running The Camel,” Ottley said of Burgess. “We liked his concept.”


The new venue at 2729 W. Broad St.

Boot bought the property for $595,000 in 2004, according to city records. The LLC also owns the property at 1700 E Main St., home to the restaurant Arcadia.

Burgess said his two music venues will complement one another.

“If we have salsa [music] at The Camel, then we could have a rock band at The Broadberry,” Burgess said. “Or if we have an indie band at The Broadberry, we could have a bluegrass band at The Camel.”

Burgess will look to hire about 20 people for The Broadberry. The name is a combination of Broad Street and Mulberry, a nearby cross street.

Broadberry isn’t the only new venue looking to tap into the nighttime scene. Brenda Lewter, an owner of The Top at 10 Walnut Alley, said her family’s nightclub is hoping to open in May.

Read more: Burgess has been an outspoken critic of certain city policies in recent years.

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