The Warehouse closes, makes way for more Gaines Street housing

Posted at 11:15 PM, May 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-31 09:14:31-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A day after an iconic Leon County music venue was damaged by severe weather, another legendary Tallahassee location on the entertainment scene is closing its doors.

It's the latest in a series of big changes on Gaines Street.

"From the outside, it just looks like a dilapidated, old building," said "Doc" Russell McGuff, the Open Mic Night Host at The Warehouse. "From the inside, it's a place of warmth."

It's simply been called The Warehouse for decades, but soon it won't be able to store memories or anything else.

It's being torn down to make room for more housing in the All Saints District.

"Once this place is gone, there's no place like this in town," said Dwayne Dungey, a performer and documentarian.

"Kind of a sad day in an establishment that I kind of consider home," said Chris Cox, a longtime patron. "It's the only place that I come to on this side of town."

The Warehouse was built in 1929. It was one of many at the time along Gaines Street. Over time, it turned into a bar, pool hall and concert venue.

"As soon as I walked in here, I knew that this was where my tribe was," Dungey said.

McGuff said that "People have met their future spouses there. People have formed bands there. People, of course, have seen plays and poetry and literature."

It's been the city's only spot for weekly open mic nights. Wednesday was a curtain call of sorts.

Development on Gaines Street just keeps coming. Greenwise Market, owned and operated by Publix, opens in September.

Hotel Indigo and The Railyard Lofts are going up near Woodward Avenue.

But what will replace The Warehouse? Developers are proposing a seven-story apartment complex called Park Place Tallahassee. It'll be across the street from another six-story housing project.

"It's almost becoming cookie-cutter - this area," Cox said.

"The town is growing," Dungey said. "When I got here, none of this was here."

"If there's a tragedy here, it is that The Warehouse has been a unique gathering spot that will be impossible to reproduce anywhere else," McGuff said.

The open mic nights will move to All Saints Culture Club, starting next Wednesday.

The city's Development Review Committee will look at the developer's request for adjustments to zoning standards at a hearing on June 11.