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Vision Nightclub Is Re-opening As Club Reign, The Gay Friendly Bar, On Halloween

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Vision Nightclub Is Re-opening As Club Reign, The Gay Friendly Bar, On Halloween

club reign opening in midtown ~ what now, atlanta?

Setting The Record Straight

Yesterday we reported that Vision Nightclub (also known as SPI) would probably open as a Gay Bar (story here).

This assumption was based on the following circumstantial evidence:

First, the club had their soft opening during Atlanta Pride. Second, the Gidewon brothers renamed the club, Club Reign and lastly, Creative Loafing listed Club Reign as a “Gay/Lesbian Bar” at 1021 Peachtree Street, the address for Vision.

We were half right. Club Reign will cater to homosexualists on Fridays and will officially open Saturday, Oct. 30, for a Q100-promoted Halloween party. Scott Henry with Creative Loafing has this story:

It won't be Vision. And it won't be SPI, thank God.

No, when the Gidewon brothers finally open the doors of their latest and, already, most controversial nightclub, the name on the marquee will be Club Reign. (Not to be confused with Rain, the hip-hop club in Mechanicsville.)

According to club spokesman Chris Kappy, Reign will open Saturday, Oct. 30, for a Q100-promoted Halloween party. But don't expect too much crunkness. (Crunkiosity? Crunkitude?) "We're not going to go with a huge fanfare to blow the doors off because some of our neighbors are still looking for reasons to get us shut down," Kappy explains. "We're expecting some push-back from the neighborhood."

That's probably a reasonable expectation, to say the least. Since July 2009, when Michael Gidewon filed an application to open a new, 20,000-square-foot club at 1021 Peachtree Street— since divided into separate nightclub and lounge spaces — the "first family of Atlanta nightlife" (as we called them in a cover story last year) was forced to fight several rounds of legal battles against neighboring residents and businesses that wanted to prevent the clubs from opening.

The clubs' opponents used every avenue to wage war against the Gidewons — filing lawsuits and legal challenges; speaking out at public hearings; creating an anonymous, anti-Vision website, www.keepmidtownsafe.com; collecting 1451 signatures on an online petition; writing letters to persuade Mayor Shirley Franklin and other public officials to deny the required permits; and generally bad-mouthing the Gidewons and their previous clubs at every turn.

Read the rest of Scott Henry's posing here.

Club Reign
1021 Peachtree St. N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30309

Caleb J. Spivak
Caleb Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak (CJS) is the Founder of What Now Atlanta (WNA). He was featured in The New York Times, Creative Loafing's "20 People to Watch," named "Lifestyle Blogger You Need To Know" by Rolling Out Magazine and highlighted as Atlanta's Metropolitan Male in fashion magazine, 944. WNA has been named "Best of Atlanta" by Creative Loafing, and Atlanta and Jezebel Magazines.

24 responses to “Vision Nightclub Is Re-opening As Club Reign, The Gay Friendly Bar, On Halloween

  1. Mark my words, no matter how much they might have cleaned up the space and tried to market it across demographics - this place will still draw the same segment of the population that Vision used to draw.

    Atlantic Station is a perfect example of a development designed to appeal to the masses but that has for the most part only drawn an African American clientele.

  2. Soooo what are you saying Just Sayin? That if a mostly "African American clientele" shows up, then close up shop, hide your wives a children, and run for your lives..........the blacks are back in Midtown? Come on, give me a break.

    From what I recall, Vision was mostly a Caucasian, Asian and European venue, unless there were special events that purposefully catered to African Americans the club had a very small percentage of blacks that frequented it. It sounds like what you are saying is that if the African Americans show up then it's going to be nothing but trouble.

    Why is it that there is such a negative stigma attached to being black in this country? Black = ignorant, trouble seeking and making, noisy ghetto street whores and thugs? Total BS and nonsense. Whites, Asians, Lations etc. can cause just as much noise and drama as blacks. And believe it or not, black people actually do know how to behave in public. We don't all behave like we just stepped out of a rap video. Just because you "try" and phrase your words so delicately doesn't mean we can't see through them. Carefully chosen words don't mask your glaring racism and ignorance.

  3. Can't wait - long overdue!! Atlanta NEEDS an adult Vegas caliber club for locals and the convention market to enjoy. This will be a great addition to the Midtown area. Atlanta is diverse so the crowds will be too.

  4. JT,

    I certainly don't consider myself racist or prejudice but I think what just sayin was just sayin is that the big clubs or nightlife areas in Atlanta do typically draw an African-American crown as a majority (yes, there are exceptions). Look at Kenny's Alley in Underground Atl. The city tried to turn it into a club district appealing to everyone, but it has only survived because the businesses changed to reflect the majority demographic of their customers.

    Before Buckhead died as a party scene, it too had become majority (over 50%) black by demographic.

    As far as a stigma goes, I think there needs to be strong leadership from both whites and blacks that look at the statistics and come up with reasons behind why crime is so prevalent in the lower income black communities (Atlanta has 4 of the neighborhoods labeled most dangerous in the US - all of them are majority black areas). Find out the social issues behind those facts. It's going to take all of us to ask the tough questions that may offend some. I really think the African-American community is lacking a strong, communicative leader that can inspire tolerant discussion across all races.

    Why is it that assimilation is so difficult, particularly in the southeast. Why is it that once blacks become the majority in an area (or at a club), whites tend to show up in fewer numbers? What causes that?

    Too much sensitivity on both sides of the issue might be keeping us from really digging in to the social roots of the problems and the resulting sterotypes and perceptions that perpetuate from those problems. If we can, however, agree to work together and find solutions that are created with compassion, driven by accountability, and designed with the community as a whole in mind we all will win. In a city like Atlanta, I think it's key to making our city thrive.

  5. We all live on one planet, if we don't unite we'll perish, no matter what your race or income.
    Georgia happens to have a predominantly black population, get over it.

  6. I'm really confused by all of this... Buckhead was Freak Nik every weekend before Black people found out you can party for 5 bucks and it wasn't closed down. The problem could also be Fulton County has no curfew. If they had one, may not have had that problem. Oh yea, how is it that some Gays are predudice?

  7. Hmm. I really, really am disappointed by so many of my fellow Atlantans. We live in the urban and cultural capital of this part of our South, and we have to deal with idiot mentalities like Just Sayin'. Or MM. JT - I'm with you.

    Atlanta's more than 50% Black. The phrasing is dangerous - and just invites criticism unless you're delicate - to point that because Buckhead had begun to approach a proportionate racial balance to the city's population, this aligned with the downfall of the area.

    I also take issue with the implications of the point that the top 4 most dangerous neighborhoods in the city are in Black areas - who cares? Did you read the study and see how poorly defined these neighborhoods are (not actual neighborhoods, but "Marietta Street" - not all of Marietta Street, mind you, but the section cherry-picked by the study, near Centennial Park and the numerous homeless shelters and nests of empty lots and dead space)? Did you know about the controversy surrounding the study as police departments contested the findings, asking for the study methodology, and receiving silence in response? Just saying that black areas have more crime doesn't make a valid point, and without more context, invites misinterpretation from those willing to look at it with a biased, superficial eye (and come on, we all live in Atlanta, we see this happen daily, and on this board).

    It's not African Americans lacking the strong community leaders. Contrary to modern white civic and political leaders (Glenn Beck, Rand Paul, Newt Gingrich, Rush, Sarah Palin, etc), Blacks have a strong cadre of civil rights leaders who are still respected and admired in the community. We're fortunate to have a number of locals in their number (Rev. Lowery, Andy Young, the Kings, etc) who actively fought and continue to advocate for nonviolence and healing. So let's not go the "absence of leaders" route. And let's not use the guise of "tough questions that might offend some" (which, by the way, almost universally means the minority in question) as a way to air our own stereotypes while trying to win diplomatic immunity.

    Call it like it is. It's more subtle, but it's still racism, ugly and pure. We're still not where we want, or claim, to be. So things need to air out in all sides. Jonathan was getting to that, maybe. Not so much for some others.

    Also, MM, ever been to Midtown? Notice how being gay and black are not exclusive things? I'm guessing you've never been near 10th and Piedmont.

    I'm white, straight, a neighbor of Club Reign, and all too often disgusted by my city and the way the people in it act. Particularly my Midtown neighbors. Sorry to go on so long, but this crap hurts the social fabric, culture, and ultimately economy and viability of our city. We can do better.

  8. Look, it's not about prejudice, it's simply a fact that there were several high profile murders that took place in Atlanta in similar establishments over the last decade. When's the last time someone shot up Blake's or Burkharts???

  9. I actually agree with you for the most part Ryan, and I think you misinterpreted some of the things that I was trying to say. I think you, and a lot of other people, would rather criticize people for having misguided opinions rather than dig into the root of those opinions.

    Ok, so we ignore that particular study because its methodologies were questionable. Fine. That still doesn't solve the broken social fabric that exists in low-income areas. The fact is that in urbanized areas (key distinction for this conversation), the lowest-income communities have been dominated by black Americans for a long while now. They also dominate the crime headlines. "So what?" you say? So it creates racial stereotypes and pepetuates prejudices. People will always take fact and then form their own opinions as to why that fact exists.

    I want to point out that I believe the issue is misguided perceptions more than the extreme forms of racism. Racism should not be used in the context of someone believing that certain aspects of a race's culture are distasteful. The real problem is when these beliefs are used for discriminatory practices or morph into the belief that one race is superior to all others. Most of what I see and hear is more the latter than the former. People simply process what they hear from the news (ie a shooting in SW Atlanta) and simplify it down to a cultural "ghetto thug" thing when it is so much more complex than that. 90% of those same people would not say that they're superior to a black person simply on the base of race, yet they wouldn't feel comfortable walking around a Southwest Atlanta neighborhood or going to a night club that is a predominantly black clientele. For the most part, I think it's a culture debate rather than a skin one.

    You pointed out some good civil rights leaders, yes. And most of those leaders were very successful in their drive to ensure that black Americans have equal parity in terms of rights. But now, on a macro level, I don't see anyone pushing for accountability. All I see are people focusing on defending themselves against sterotypes. No one is asking why those stereotypes exist in the first place. No one is creating solutions for the cycles of joblessness, welfare, dismal educational opportunities or stating the reasons behind the cycles or the social impacts (crime). That's what I mean by those questions having the potential to offend people. An example was when Bill Cosby spoke up and said that (in this example) black parents needed to step up and set better examples for their kids, he was met with a lot of criticism. But is there anything wrong with what he said?

    It may sound from reading this that this that I am saying that these problems are exclusive to the black community. THEY ARE NOT. Of course they are not. But percentage wise in our cities, the low-income black-majority communities are the communities which are in the limelight most often for crime, school dropouts, truency, etc. With the spotlight comes the perceptions. With the perceptions come the miscommunications. Add in political correctness and it's just a cycle of no solutions.

    My point was that it's time to stop debating the stereotypes, the prejudices, and the racism. Those are a part of the problem but they are not the root of it. Thank you Al Sharpton for always giving us your soundbytes, but we already realize that sterotyping and profiling exist. Might I suggest that you and other leaders of all races brainstorm feasible solutions that help people help themselves AFTER you have taken a good long look at what needs to be fixed.

    I am saying we should air it out on all sides without being overly sensitive to opinions even if they are misguided. That was the basis of my entire point in the first place.

  10. I would LOVE to see a new club open, Jungle is such a dump now, but...not here, it will be nothing but trouble down the road. Mark my words, plus the gays won't go once it goes Black again, perfect example is "MIXX". I see guns and violence in the future if it opens.

  11. It is a club, people. Very simple concept. You like the music, drinks, level of service and atmosphere? Go. If not, don't. Please Atlanta, leave your baggage at the door and hit the dance floor!

  12. Wow!! Thanks Atlanta for opening my eyes. I live about 2 hours southeast of ya'll in the A-U-G, that's Augusta, Home of Master and I thought that this attitude was only here. As an AA, I feel that the truth will set you free, and the truth is this. We all have prejudices that we ALL need to deal with and as someone in an earlier post said, if we don't fix it together, it will destroy us all.

    It's not that hard to figure out why crime is in out neighborhoods. If I am desperate, I will do whatever I need to do to survive. Now for my racist statement: while "the man" was building jails, instead of schools, changing laws to be stricter on the black man, while we(black and white) were fighting each other, the Mexicans came and took their country back, lmao. Look at us now since Obama has been in office, we still fighting each other and the Mexicans are living la vida loca, roflmao, buying houses, cars, etc.

    Before you respond, think about it. We need a flat tax. Dismantle the IRS and state tax and impose a tax ranging from 10-16% with variations on different items and watch the money pile up.

  13. Atlanta needs an upscale dance club that attracts the local Tech/Emory students as well as the local Midtown/West Midtown/Va-Hi/Inman Park crowd. And when I say dance club I so directly mean NOT HIP HOP. There are plenty of blacks who live intown who aren't all about the "scene" or hip hop. Some of you fellow blacks might say they "act white" and maybe have sold out, but I say they are just educated, professional, working blacks who prefer cleanliness, clean-cut and well dressed people, courteous staff, and perhaps occasional hip hop (who doesn't like it every now and then), but their "culture" is not hip hop.

    In Manhattan and San Francisco and Los Angeles you'll find great clubs that attract top DJ talent and a more professional, clean cut crowd that consists of all races. Sadly, in Atlanta you have a black culture almost entirely dominated by hip hop and uncouth behavior. It's not a good sign when a major city's most "upscale" clubs attract a clientele where the women spend hours preparing (albeit they may look slutty but they try) and the guys look like slobs/thugs/trash/obviously don't give a rat's behind about looking good and acting decently.

    I still say make Cheshire Bridge a clubbing hotspot (like the Meatpacking District) and keep the intown, heavily residential areas more low key.

  14. Any updates on this club? It's been sitting there with the windows papered since this post (and before). Just curious.

  15. Let me chime in with my two cents,,,,this club will be like all the other clubs the Gidewon Clowns have opened. Not worth your money. So what this club will cater to Gay/Lesbian crowd. Why not just open a club that is fun, down-to-earth, comfortable, great customer service with great music. No, that is too much like right,. They/The Gidewons are about nothing but money & will do anything to get it. That's why people are not excited about another club opening by those LOSERS. They destroyed Kaya by trying to make it so-called "upscale"..F**k outta her with that bullsh*t! They are heartless, cold, disrespectful, & have -1,000% customer service, even the staff they hire. The attendance in most of their clubs are falling off because they are starting to get what they put out,, BAD Karma! No amount of monopolization of the airwaves will make people see them for anything else, LOSERS!!! YEAP, I SAID IT! That's N'dygo~indigo!

  16. Why do you all care so much about the kind of place they open and the people it attracts. The bottom line is for the people investing in the club and what they seem is best suited to give them popularity and a return on their investment.

    If you don't like the crowd at the place, then there are several others places you can go. No one is forcing you to come to Reign. Be a little open minded and enjoy yourselves instead of reflecting on miniscule things such as race, sexual orientation etc.

    Live and let live.

  17. Having worked in several different styles of clubs. Yes, hip-hop clubs end up with more high-threat security issues. And all it takes is one shooting outside any of these clubs to scare other people away.

    This is not to say, there are not other problems associated with running a frat-house type bar. Drunk under-age people puking everywhere. Drunk girls getting taken home. Drug issues. But I think that the issues with hip-hop clubs are much more in your face, and whenever a gun is involved... people scatter. For the most part, the hip-hop scene is about chilling at the club, buying bottles, and occasionally lighting up a joint. Mostly harmless, and great revenue for the club. It's the 0.01% of gun-toting wanna-be gangstas that screw it up for everyone.

  18. How ironic is it that this conversation is taking place? Tonight Reign has a private only event for a headliner neo-soul african-american female artist. Now why in the world would they be doing this, if they did not want to diversify their clientele? The Club owners definitely has the right to turn down any contract offers for events, and clearly the money was right from the promoters, so the contract's good! Sometimes we try so hard not to come off as being non-biased, but it always shows itself when least expected. I'm more interested in the new South Beach style venue, and what it has to offer the adult crowd. If someone has a problem with "clientele" then you're a consumer, totally capable of making adult decisions..........take your dollars elsewhere #seeya!

  19. Worst place ever! Bouncers are excessive and act like gods for no reason! Excessive compulsive disorderly conduct! Would never recommend!

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