New management team and upgrade re-launch Greene Street

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Mike Clark is part of the new management team at Greene Street Club. (photo by Jordan Green)

The storied Greene Street Club, long a Greensboro mainstay for dance nights and rock concerts, heads into a new phase under a fresh management team.

The revamped Greene Street Club got its big reveal on New Year’s Eve with a dance party that drew about 700 people, complete with confetti machines and CO2 cannons. The bash provided a new management team with an opportunity to show off upgraded lighting and sound, and the staff to break in a new POS system.

“It was really just upgrading the building so it’ll appeal to the masses, not just the dive-bar crowd,” said Mike Clark, one of four partners in Greene Street Nightlife, which began contracting management of Greene Street Club with building owners Kenny Efird and Robbie Efird in November.

The new management team, which includes Clark, Jon Southall, Joe Sheppard and San Bach, financed the building improvements out of pocket, Clark said. The upgrades are meant to draw a new clientele to the downtown Greensboro club.

“People have a standard; when your building doesn’t meet that — with downtown improving there are more out-of-towners visiting,” Clark said. “We’re kind of going for the Miami-big city, New York look, so when they come in they feel more comfortable.

“With the better clientele — I don’t want to say that.” He paused and reformulated. “With the better clientele, it’s about the long term and not just that one hit.”

The upgrades also include new intelligent lighting that projects colors around the dance floor, and a new color theme that matches white paint with silver upholstered columns — all of which Clark hopes will allow the illuminated glass bar to shine.

Clark and his team have been working with the Efird brothers for about five years and are responsible for the Friday night hip-hop dance party, a mainstay of the club, but under the new operating arrangement they are taking full responsibility for booking entertainment.

The club’s Facebook page shows no activity since Dec. 12, but that’s far from an accurate reflection. The club will relaunch its regular Thursday college night on Jan. 19 with an EDM open format. They plan to do a grand opening of the roof area in April.

Greene Street has long functioned as both a dance club and rock venue since the Efirds purchased the old bank building in 2001, sometimes weighted more to one side than the other depending on which promoters the owners were working with. Beginning in 2006, when the Efirds established a partnership with promoter Joe Ferguson, the club became a focal point of the Greensboro music scene, with packed houses for popular local acts like House of Fools and Urban Sophisticates. Sullivan, a favorite act in the emo scene, and Kudzu Wish, an acclaimed indie-punk band, both played their final concerts at Greene Street. The roster of notable Greensboro bands that have performed at Greene Street also includes Tiger Bear Wolf and Holy Ghost Tent Revival. The venue has also showcased national acts like Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil and rock-and-roll pianist Leon Russell.

As recently as last fall, Greene Street had been booking rock shows through Crank It Loud, a booking agency owned by Joel Collins, formerly the singer of the metal/hard rock band Bloodjinn.

Despite the venue’s recent parting with Collins, Clark said he still plans to book live music, including rock and hip hop, at Greene Street. He’s event talked to a promoter that specializes in bluegrass and beach music.

“We had Crank It Loud here; they’ve chosen to go with other venues,” Clark said. “People have been blowing up our phones, so we’re just waiting to figure out our options. We’re promoters ourselves, so we might not have to outsource that much of it.”

Clark said he’s already received a commitment from rapper Dave East, who is signed to Nas’ Mass Appeal Records, and is in talks with the Houston rapper Riff Raff.

“We’re slowly filling up the calendar,” he said. “That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.”