Branding firm to fill former Mean Bird spot after owners buy building

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The storefront at 2227 W. Main St. is between Barrio Taqueria + Tequila and tobacco shop Katra Gala. (Jonathan Spiers photo)

After five years on Robinson Street, a local branding and design firm is getting “lean and mean” in the former roost of an aptly named chicken joint.

Aaron and Amanda Gibson are moving their 903 Creative firm to the former Mean Bird building at 2227 W. Main St., which the couple purchased last month.

The move makes the Gibsons owners instead of renters, having recently completed a five-year lease on their former space at 404 N. Robinson St.

Aaron Gibson said they weren’t looking to move but warmed to the idea when they learned that the Main Street building, which is closer to their residence, was available.

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Aaron and Amanda Gibson

“It’s just one of those things where you see an opportunity and it makes more sense the more you talk about it,” he said. “As much as we like Robinson Street and the neighborhood here, we’re familiar with Main Street, we’re still in the Fan, and owning the building, we can plant deeper roots there.”

The 1,200-square-foot storefront has been empty since Mean Bird closed in 2019 after a three-year run. It previously housed Sticky To Go Go, a satellite takeout spot for Sticky Rice across the street.

“I think there was a desire to have it not become another restaurant, so the idea of having a creative group in that space was attractive for the previous owner,” Gibson said. “Our relationship with them definitely helped, because where they were taking the building and their vision aligned with our style and what we want to do with the space.”

The building was previously owned by W. Harvey McWilliams, who died in 2021. Gibson said he purchased the building from Kevin Daley, a friend of McWilliams.

The Gibsons purchased the building through an LLC, paying $395,000 on March 20, city property records show. The 0.05-acre property is assessed by the city at $593,000.

The building is half the size of 903’s previous space, which included basement storage that Gibson said they’ll be losing with the move. He said the Main Street storefront provides slightly more work space for the firm’s team of three, including Amanda and designer Maddy Jones.

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903 Creative was previously based at 404 N. Robinson St. (Google Maps image)

The team totaled five when 903 moved to Robinson Street in 2018, filling the building that previously housed Robinson Street Laundromat. The firm was in the process of moving out Friday, and Gibson said they’ll be working remotely until they reopen in the Main Street space early this summer.

“We made some shifts with the team last year, and this year, with the move and assessing our client roster and our workload, it made sense to scale back down a little bit,” he said. “We just felt it was right to be a little leaner and meaner for a little while.”

903’s clients include Ardent Craft Ales, which recently received a new packaging and promo design from the firm. Other recent work has included a new brand for restaurant chain The Cocky Rooster, as well as designs for Ruckart Real Estate and StyleCraft Homes.

With its move to Main Street, 903 will be doors down from fellow branding and design firm Campfire & Co., as well as other design and marketing firms that share its Woodlot workspace. Original tenants there included The Apple Cart Co., which recently joined up with marketing firm Big Spoon.

The Robinson Street building is being marketed for lease by Clay Brown of S.L. Nusbaum Realty for property owners Gary and Robyn Tyer.

POSTED IN Media/Marketing/Advertising

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Charles Frankenhoff
Charles Frankenhoff
17 days ago

Very nice people

Christie Thompson
Christie Thompson
17 days ago

Welcome to Main Street, friends!

David McIntosh
David McIntosh
17 days ago

Congrats on the move!

Emily Stock
Emily Stock
17 days ago

Congratulations, Amanda and Aaron!!