Arts Desk

Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Founder Dave Mann Opens All-Ages Space, 9th & Beats

Dave Mann, founder of the upstart Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Festival, is trying his hand at running a venue.

Last week Mann announced via Facebook that he and partner Rachel Eisley—"Chief Curator of Art and Accoutrements [sic]"—are planning to launch an all-ages space in an underutilized room in the Old Dominion Brewhouse at 1219 9th St. NW. According to Mann, the restaurant's owner, Hanny Chan, has offered to lend them the 2,000-square foot, 240-standing capacity room three nights a week for a cut of the door proceeds. (Chan has not returned my request for comment.) The venue is called 9th & Beats.

Opening weekend kicks off Dec. 13 with a show from teen band/City Paper cover stars The Black Sparks. Friday Dec. 14, Mann has scheduled a comedy show with local comic Seaton Smith. Dec. 15 is still in the works. Eisley, meanwhile, is planning to book rotating exhibitions in the space. In an email, she says she wants to transform the room into something more conducive to visual arts.

A physical transformation may be necessary: At the moment, the room looks like a suburban-style restaurant dining room replete with televisions. (See a picture after the jump.)

So, an all-ages venue in a brewhouse? Mann doesn't think that will present a problem. "ODB serves my favorite root beer of all time," he writes via email. He and Eisley also have plans to offer nonalcoholic "mocktails" at a bar inside the room. Thursday bookings will be kid-friendly, too: "Since 9th & Beats is going to be an all-ages venue, I'd like to feature bands who are young and don't get the chance to play the bar scene because of the age restrictions," Mann writes.

He says he's merely borrowing a page from Ian MacKaye's book. "Thursday nights will be paying homage to what most people know about Washington D.C.'s music scene ... I'm talking about the incredible ethos that Ian MacKaye ... has had from Day One," he writes. "Provide a space for everyone ... and make the door cover cheap so everyone can afford to check out the show."

This isn't Mann's first time at the rodeo: He previously booked shows at several D.C. restaurants, including Dynasty and the now-shuttered Bella Cafe, and the October 2012 iteration of his Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Festival spread across 12 venues from the U Street corridor to Comet Ping Pong. Mann has no shortage of critics who accuse him—often in City Paper comments—of running sloppy shows. Yet Mann is approaching this new project with characteristic enthusiasm. A status update on the venue's already bustling Facebook page reads, "Dave apologizes for sending out so many messages, but he is pretty excited about this new venue (duh!)."

9th & Beats also has a Twitter feed. Mann says he plans to set up a 9th & Beats website in the coming weeks.

Photo courtesy Dave Mann

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  • http://None Hillbilly Harry and Company

    Who at the City Paper lets Dave Mann get his oral fix from in order to keep reporting about him?

    Is there a stage and sound?

  • Bryan

    awesome job buddy, can't wait!

  • Miguel Cervantes

    Creo que he escrito acerca de este tipo.

  • Kevin

    This guy is such a tool.

  • Stephanie

    ^^^ what makes him such a "tool"? i don't get it.

  • Stephanie

    hey hillbilly! just read the comments on the other articles. i think the city paper writes on this stuff prob because something is happening regardless of who is making it happen, right? does it really matter who is opening up a new all ages venue? also, why would you ask if there is a stage and sound? that seems like a silly question to ask of a music venue. you and kevin are too cute.

  • http://soundcloud.com/dnorthrop Daryl Northrop

    Great news! This will be a great place.

  • Hillbilly Harry

    First of all, "kid friendly" shows on a weeknight/school might? Might want to rethink that one. Also I am very curious about this coverage because it seems to me that he is getting a room in a restaurant to book shows. This happens all the time with tons of promoters throughout the city.

    Stephanie, I ask about a stage and spun because of Dave Manns reputation of booking shows and hyping things up in bootleg hole in the wall (not very proper for rock shows) and having the shows bust is a trend. And by the look of the picture it looks likes a room in a college cafeteria. This isn't a full venue. "three days a week for a cut of the door". Sounds like a shitty deal too. He is already brining him bar/food business. He should be happy with the bar revenue and if the bar hits a certain spot a percentage should Goto the promoter.

    This guy over hypes things and delivers shit. Happens almost every time!

    Anyways. I'm wasting my breath. I'm going to drink this cold weather away with some got damn moonshine. (hate hate hate hate) - Dave Chapelle Voice

  • Aqui

    Stephanie, I gather that you are not a musician by your post? It's great you want to support the local scene! But all the complaints you've seen in these articles are by bands that Dave has pissed off due to his negligent booking practices. Since he has willingly put himself in the public eye, there is going to be public opinion on what he does- both positive and negative. In this case, the negative posts are coming from musicians that he has screwed over. Now, I don't think his "screwing over" of these musicians is on purpose, but it occurs nonetheless.

    When music is your livelihood (or your living), it sucks to go play a poorly organized show. It sucks to show up to a venue and not be able to play because the promoter has double booked the venue or there is no sound or the sound is sub-par. So much of your day to day existence revolves around the music you make. To have a show go awry for something out of your control is frustrating beyond belief.

    And just so you know, it is not ridiculous to ask if there is going to be a stage or sound at a venue. In fact it is a very typical question asked to talent buyers. I'd bet there is a less than 50% chance that there will be BOTH a stage and professional sound at this venue.

    I'm not here to get into an argument with anyone, just presenting the side of the story that isn't seen through rose-colored glasses. I do hope Dave gets his shit together and starts paying attention to the critics before it's too late.

  • $$$$$$$$$$$$

    ^^^^^^^^^

    "When music is your livelihood (or your living), it sucks to go play a poorly organized show. It sucks to show up to a venue and not be able to play because the promoter has double booked the venue or there is no sound or the sound is sub-par. So much of your day to day existence revolves around the music you make. To have a show go awry for something out of your control is frustrating beyond belief."

    What types of bands has this guy booked (national acts?????)? Are you suggesting that the local bands he has booked actually makes a living off of music? If so, are you serious? I really doubt many of the local DC area bands make a living off of music.

    Lets get a fact checker to weigh in on what Aqui is stating cos I smell jealousy bullshit.

  • Pingback: The Grey Area Live at 9th & Beats Opening | One Love Massive

  • Stephanie

    @ aqui - where you at the soft opening last night? my bf is a blogger so i was his +1. anyways, i read and re-read your comments a few weeks back and i am happy to announce that what you said (see below)

    "And just so you know, it is not ridiculous to ask if there is going to be a stage or sound at a venue. In fact it is a very typical question asked to talent buyers. I'd bet there is a less than 50% chance that there will be BOTH a stage and professional sound at this venue."

    ..was countered with an amazing stage and amazing sound. so quit talking shit i guess. you almost made me feel really bad for this guy or you made me feel like i had to dislike him..i don't know..what i do know is that the space is amazing and you should shut up.

    thanks,

    stephanie

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