Hammerjacks Announces Location and Plans For New Music Venue Across from M&T Bank Stadium

| November 9, 2015 | 12 Comments
Rendering Courtesy of Design Collective Inc.

Rendering Courtesy of Design Collective Inc.

This past Saturday at the “Hammerjacks Rocks the Red Carpet” party held at Game, Hammerjacks Entertainment Group (HEG) Owner and Anne Arundel County resident Kevin Butler, along with partner Andy Hotchkiss, announced that the music venue and club will open at 1300 Russell St. across from M&T Bank Stadium. The 48,000 sq. ft. club will take the place of Paradox as well as a currently vacant warehouse facing Ostend St. that was most recently the home to a ceramic tile company. Paradox recently announced it will be closing.

Hammerjacks originally announced a $20 million new-construction project for the club at Lot N by M&T Bank Stadium. However, as the city was studying the impacts to the adjacent Carroll-Camden Industrial Area to change the zoning at the property, a better opportunity across the street at 1300 Russell St. came about. The site already had the zoning needed for a liquor license and live entertainment. The new project is expected to cost $8 million to complete.

The new Hammerjacks will feature a 2,500-person concert area that can be modified down for smaller shows, a club/sports bar area that will feature smaller 300-person live music shows, and an outdoor courtyard area. Butler told SouthBMore.com he has been contacted by several national entertainment companies interested in booking shows at Hammerjacks. The club can also be modified to various sizes for corporate events, business meetings, high school reunions, weddings, and private events. HEG will also be leasing 4,000 sq. ft. of retail space on the property that will face Ostend St. Butler said “plenty” of parking will be available.

There will also be what Butler is calling “a large outdoor courtyard for seasonal events, sports events, and tailgating” at the venue.

“The process that led up to this announcement has been long and, at times, tedious,” said Butler in a press release, “but that was all part of the effort, by myself and our partners, to make the new Hammerjacks an entertainment facility and a destination that is worthy of the name. I know that our fans and the area business community will be impressed and excited by our plans as we write the next chapter of our long, successful story.”

Butler added that Hammerjacks will be “a cornerstone” of the new Warner St. entertainment corridor.

Lots H and J at M&T Bank Stadium are a tribute to the former Hammerjacks music venue that once stood at its second and most popular location at 1101 S. Howard St. Hammerjacks’ original location was at 1024 S. Charles St. in Federal Hill, the current home of Nobles Bar and Grill, and a later version opened at 316 Guilford Ave. downtown. Butler was unaffiliated with either of the previous three locations, but obtained the rights to the Hammerjacks trademark in 2009 for $1,000.

Hammerjacks’ heyday was from 1987 to 1990 according to Butler when it garnered the title of one of VH1’s Top 5 rock venues. Butler was there for many shows in that era, seeing Guns N’ Roses, The Ramones, L.A. Guns, Warrant, Joan Jett, KIX, and more. “Hammerjacks was so popular that bands like Journey and Def Leppard would hang out there when they were in town for bigger shows,” said Butler. Iron Maiden even had a picture of Hammerjacks in their record sleeve at one point, Butler noted.

To honor Hammerjacks’ former glory, Butler told SouthBMore.com that a large dedication piece with pictures and items from the old venue will be well represented and that they are definitely planning some 1980s events. While honoring its roots, the new Hammerjacks will be a venue for all genres of music.

Butler is very excited about the future of the area. “In one area you are going to have a world-class baseball stadium, a world-class football stadium, a world-class casino and, now, a world-class concert venue,” he said.

Butler has developed a good relationship with Caesars Entertainment (Horseshoe Baltimore) and believes the public will soon see many new taverns and developments joining them in the area as well.

Construction is expected to start in early 2016 and Hammerjacks is slated to open in time for a New Year’s Eve celebration next year.

A view of the property from Google Maps

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Photos of 1300 Russell Street

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About the Author:

Creator of SouthBmore.com and resident of SoBo. Graduate of Towson University and owner of Incept Multimedia, a full service video production company. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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  • Good Write Up Kevin. Thanks for the info.

    • jhtlag

      This IS a good write-up, he answered questions I had even before reading the article like how is it related to the original HammerJacks?, answer: they bought the name for $1000 so no, the HammerJacks name has been sitting in a lawyer’s office all these years. (Who can remember HammerJacks putting up banners that they would never leave or something like that? Oh well, probably royally screwed but c’est la vie) I’m not bummed, of course it wasn’t going to be the same, appreciate the historical background. Miss the Ramones.

  • Richard Mixin

    Recreating a new Hammerjacks in Baltimore is a BAD idea.

    1. At the peak of it’s success in the 80’s, people flocked their for hair metal. Although the name is popular in Baltimore, it was synonymous with 80’s butt rock. Most people who went to the original Hammerjack’s in the 80’s are well into their 50’s and 60’s (OR DECEASED) and have completely fallen off as patrons.

    2. The name Hammerjack’s is completely branded with hair metal, rock etc. For the existing demographic that ventures out from days of old, they will complain mercilessly when top 40 dance music is played in there. Rock as a people draw, is wildly dead.

    3. Soundstage, Rams Head and even Ottobar route and book most of the major tours already with medium/large sized music venues and have existing relationships with tour managers.

    4. Millenials, the driving force behind nightlife, have absolutely no idea what Hammerjack’s is really, or what it was in it’s capacity. It’s another name to them. Maybe they’ve seen a thing or too but they don’t care. As a whole, millenials are not going out as much as the previous decade of gen y’ers. This can be seen in Baltimore in places like a dying Powerplant Live.

    5. With the exception of afterhours permits, nobody wants to go to that part of Baltimore at night. In the day it could operate as a successful sports bar but you are also competing with the Casino, with Game and a ton of other small spill-over spots from Federal Hill.

    This is a silly idea! Throw me some money at me investors! I’ll design you an experience.

    • Beyondbittch

      Well aren’t you a buzzzzzzz kill, Dick, I mean, Richard

    • Beyondbittch

      Well aren’t you a buzzzzzzz kill, Dick, I mean, Richard. …

    • Rick Korman

      I agree with Richard, trying to recapture something that no longer exists.

      • jhtlag

        But they’re not trying to recapture anything, just putting in a 2500 person auditorium that accommodates a niche market. The name was cheap at $1000 so it’s done it’s job of attracting attention. I would imagine the venue would be greatly upscale from the original HJ.

    • StashMaster

      Where have you been dude? People are partying now more than ever. Give the people what they want and they will come!

  • james

    Richard Mixin, Hammerjacks is also synonymous with Hip-hop,and house music during the mid 90’s. There is a reason developers develop. They have vision.

    • Rick Korman

      that wasn’t very successful was it?

  • sick&tired

    If it isn’t going to be some kind of tribute to the original, it shouldn’t have the name. People like me have special memories of “Hammerjacks”, like meeting some great bands, and, more importantly, my husband. If they’re going to play the garbage people consider music today, they need a new name.

  • Tom

    Is there any way at all that somebody can open up a business in South Baltimore without it being a bar? Are there 21 year olds running the zoning? Alternatively, can those responsible send over someone to clean the vomit out of my driveway every week? I’d also be happy with taking all of the police stationed around the bars and moving them into the residential areas surrounding the bars. I’m fine with let all the patrons beat each other senseless in exchange for towing the illegal parkers, ending the vandalism, and ensuring people return quietly to their cars.