Hammerjacks was unanimously approved for a Beer, Wine, and liquor Arena license today by The Board of Liquor License Commissioners (BLLC). The 48,000 sq. ft. venue at 1300 Russell St. in Stadium will take the place of Paradox, a currently-vacant warehouse facing Ostend St., which was most recently the home to a ceramic tile company, and a smaller building connecting Paradox to the warehouse. Hammerjacks Entertaiment Group (HEG) is led by Kevin Butler and Andy Hotchkiss.
An arena license is needed to cover the large size and capacity of Hammerjacks and requires a capital investment of at least $1,000,000 and a venue capacity of at least 1,000. Other arena licenses in Baltimore City include M&T Bank Stadium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and Power Plant Live.
“It’s an exciting day for Baltimore, Hammerjacks is back,” said Butler.
The new Hammerjacks will feature a 2,500-person concert venue in a new building that will replace Paradox. The space can be modified down for smaller shows. The existing building facing Ostend St. will be renovated into a club/sports bar area that will feature smaller 300-person live music shows. An outdoor beer garden area will be constructed where the current connector building sits. The beer garden will have a pea gravel surface and string lighting. The second story will features an additional club area, offices, and a private events space that leads to a rooftop deck. All of the sections of Hammerjacks will be connected.
Construction is expected to begin on the project in the next 45-60 days according to Butler, and the team has already obtained the demolition permit. They are hoping to open late this year.
Hammerjacks can be modified to various sizes for corporate events, business meetings, high school reunions, weddings, and private events. HEG will also be leasing 2,500 sq. ft. of retail space on the property that will face Ostend St. Butler told SouthBMore.com they have been contacted by companies looking to open restaurants, microbreweries, and sports apparel shops.
Butler told SouthBMore.com he has been contacted by several national entertainment companies interested in booking shows at Hammerjacks and they have reached a deal with a company to handle ticket sales. Announcements will be made in the next 30-45 days according to Butler.
The exterior design of Hammerjacks is highlighted by brick, black steel, and the reopening and enlarging of windows on the club portion of Hammerjacks facing Ostend St. The buildings will also feature large Hammerjacks signs with its signature lightning bolt, as well color-changing LED lighting throughout the exterior. Entrances will be placed at the corner of Ostend and Russell, as well as a concert venue entrance and beer garden entrance on Russell.
Along Ostend St., Hammerjacks will have trees, planters, and bollards to provide aesthetic improvements, as well as safety precautions for pedestrians.
HEG has reached a deal to provide parking at nearby parking lots Lot N and Lot NN, as well as at a lot it purchased on Ridgely St.
HEG is also hoping to activate the 1300 block of Russell St., which dead ends at the train tracks south of Hammerjacks and is underneath the Russell St. overpass, into an urban plaza. HEG plans to paint and light the overpass and improve the block so it can host tailgates and events and add parking. Butler told SouthBMore.com those discussions are underway with city officials and the Maryland State Highway Administration.
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. in Downtown. Butler was unaffiliated with any of the previous three locations, but obtained the rights to the Hammerjacks trademark in 2009 for $1,000.
Hammerjacks joins several other construction projects underway near M&T Bank Stadium. This includes Stadium Square, the conversion of The Parker Building into offices, and a new brewery for Checkerspot Brewing Company.
Renderings courtesy of Design Collective