RFT file photo / Greenfinch Theater & Dive logo” class=”uk-display-block uk-position-relative uk-visible-toggle”>
St. Louis was deeply mourning the loss of the Way Out Club this month. Although the club announced it would close in 2021, it wasn’t until last week that the public was allowed in for an epic holding sale of all things fancy.
But all this attention to space has people wondering what will happen after the exit is cleaned up.
Well, today we have an answer.
the RFT Chat with soon-to-be-opening Colin Healy with his business partner Bradley Rolfe Greenfinch Theater and Diving In the former Way Out Club space at 2525 South Jefferson. The business will be a dive bar and community theater, and they are working overtime to open this spring. (Waiting for occupancy and liquor passes, of course).
“We want Greenfinch to be not just a community space for the City of the South,” says Healy. “But we also want it to be a place where the entire St. Louis community gets to interact with its best-kept secret: It’s an amazing theatrical spectacle.”
ANDY PAULISSEN” class=”uk-display-block uk-position-relative uk-visible-toggle”>
Their goal is to make the performance area a rentable and affordable space for the city’s unoccupied theater companies. Healy says he is blessed with owning his own company, Fly North Theatresis under the direction of the Kranzberg Arts Foundation, and he is eager to move it forward.
“We had the opportunity to open up this place and not only see it as a community space that interacts with the theater scene, but we also kind of see it as our way of giving back to the theater scene that has treated us so kindly,” Healy says.
Healy says he always felt at home at the Way Out Club because he spent his younger years abroad touring on the road with his band and has been to many similar venues. More recently, he has questioned why “the punk and dive ethic can’t be applied on stage as well as in music venues”. So he decided to make it happen.
He says he and Rohlf plan to maintain a dive bar atmosphere in both the drinking area and the performance area. Healy comes from a family that has owned bars for the past century, so he’s seen firsthand how a dive bar can be “the equivalent of a community. No matter who you are, no matter your financial background or your abilities: everyone goes to drink at the dive bar.”
They plan the bar to be open seven days a week and are currently in the process of applying for their 1:30am liquor license, which they hope to get in a few months. Pending an approved permit of occupancy, they will present their first showing in the space “as is” at the beginning of March. Fly North production Peter and the Starcatcher It is scheduled to run from March 3 through March 12, 2023. There will be six performances, all of which will be free to the public.
The theater will be available to book from the fall of 2023, and until then, it will serve as a minimalist space for both drinking and community-building — something the residents of the southern city of Hailey are very excited about. Making theater accessible to as many people as possible seemed to be his goal.
We want to end the days of dressing up to go to the theatre. We see the dive-rod ethic kind permeate the space. Like, you can show up with your shorts and sandals on, grab a Stag, and go see some great music or performances.