Work begins to transform Masonic building into a business
Carlton Proctor • firstname.lastname@example.org • November 3, 2009
The 111-year-old Masonic building, one of downtown Pensacola's most architecturally distinctive structures, is getting new life as a live music venue.
The transformation into The Vinyl Music Hall got under way last week. Crews went to work on the first floor of the long-vacant building at Garden Street and Palafox Place.
Vinyl is a partnership between Evan Levin, Harry Levin and Sherrod Levin, whose Levin Group owns the building, and Hopjacks Pizza Kitchen and Taproom business partners Corey Fogarty and Joe Abston.
"We live and breathe Pensacola," Fogarty said. "We wanted to do something that would add to the quality of life in the downtown area."
The $500,000 project is scheduled for completion by the end of February, and Vinyl is expected to open for business by early March.
The new venue will feature a 75-foot-long bar, a 20-by-20-foot stage and a seating capacity of nearly 400
, according to Fogarty. It will not offer food services.
Evan Levin said the hall will feature some of the top live music acts in the country.
"A lot of these groups are passing right through Pensacola on their way to South Florida, or from South Florida to New Orleans," he said.
Pensacola-based Vision Construction Entity Co. is doing the renovations.
Abston said Vinyl is expected to create between 30 and 40 full-time jobs once it opens.
Plans for the second and third floors of the building are not settled. A mix of residential and professional office space is being considered, Evan Levin said.
Vinyl will join a growing downtown music scene, recently boosted by the addition of Blazzues, a jazz and blues club at Palafox and Intendencia.
Last month, The Ready Room, another live music venue, opened on the ground floor of Will Call sports bar at 22 Palafox Place.