Music News & Reviews

Team behind Ace of Spades plans to bring all-ages music club to the ’burbs

Ace of Spades founders Bret Bair, left, and Eric Rushing, plan to expand to north Sacramento with the all-ages Holy Dive Bar.
Ace of Spades founders Bret Bair, left, and Eric Rushing, plan to expand to north Sacramento with the all-ages Holy Dive Bar. lsterling@sacbee.com

A new live music club from the founders of Ace of Spades could be rocking the suburbs soon.

The all-ages Holy Dive Bar is expected to open this fall near Madison Avenue and Auburn Boulevard, with a capacity of 200-300 clubgoers and a live-music menu of local and touring acts performing heavy metal, rock, hip-hop and more.

The move comes about two months after Bret Bair and Eric Rushing, the duo behind downtown’s Ace of Spades, announced that their team was pulling out of booking duties at the all-ages Boardwalk in Orangevale, which is undergoing a remodel. Once the Boardwalk reopens, it will operate primarily as a 21-and-older venue with a new booking agent.

In addition to managing the 975-capacity Ace of Spades, which was purchased by Live Nation in 2016, Bair and Rushing also operate midtown’s country-themed Goldfield Trading Post. According to Bair, he and Rushing also plan to open another central city live music venue.

Bair declined to give the exact location of Holy Dive Bar, citing pending correspondence with the county, but said it will take the place of an existing drinking establishment. The club’s name is a riff on the Dio album “Holy Diver,” and the space will be remodeled with a decor that reflects the denim-and-leather ethos of classic 1980s hard rock.

“We want to have a little place for local bands and developing national acts,” Bair said. “The decor is going to be very throwback to British metal and maybe some glam stuff. It will feel like rock ’n’ roll. But more importantly, it’ll take the place of the Boardwalk for us.”

While Holy Dive Bar is expected to rise from a pre-existing watering hole, the planned central-city music club would be built on a yet-to-be determined lot as a live-music venue, Bair said. Plans call for the club to feature a mezzanine, 22-foot high ceilings and dressing rooms for artists. Like Holy Dive Bar, the prospective midtown/downtown club would have a capacity of approximately 300 concertgoers. Bair said he doesn’t anticipate construction on this club to begin until 2018.

“It’s important that we have a small venue so (bands can develop) and then play Ace of Spades,” Bair said about the upcoming venues. “Back in the day, the Boardwalk did $3 Thursdays for local bands. We want to do stuff like that again, and in a smaller place it’ll be cool.”

Chris Macias: 916-321-1253, @chris_macias

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