A new business venture aims to bring free live entertainment, five restaurant concepts, a full-service pub and a hand-dipped ice cream shoppe to north Tuscaloosa later this year.

The concept, aptly called The Venue Tuscaloosa, is the brainchild of Bryan Finison, the owner and operator of the Tree House Farm & Nursery in north Tuscaloosa.

In an exclusive interview with the Tuscaloosa Thread Tuesday afternoon, Finison said he hopes to break ground on the Venue later this week and aims to open the new concept in early June, assuming supply chain issues and Alabama's unpredictable weather don't slow down development between now and then.

The Venue will feature two large buildings with green space and a stage for live entertainment in between.


Finison said the business model will closely mimic the 30A Venue in Florida, Magnolia in Waco, Texas and especially Stovehouse in Huntsville, Alabama.

He said the Venue will aim to offer live, family-friendly entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights, with the aim to add Thursday events as soon as possible.

As growth continues north of the Black Warrior River and especially around Sokol Park on Watermelon Road, Finison said it only makes sense to create a family-focused space in the area where the good time can keep rolling after a tournament at the park.

"We're going to feature five unique, counter-service restaurants, a full-service pub and a shoppe for hand-dipped ice cream and smoothies," Finison told the Thread. "Really, it's seven concepts in one in addition to the live entertainment space."

Finison said his vision is to create a place that offers a diversity of activities and a diversity of food so one parent can enjoy a barbeque sandwich and a beer while another has tacos and a margarita and their children play cornhole at the Venue, all while some form of free live entertainment takes place on the stage.

Some planned programming will also cater to adults, like a romantic Jazz Night for couples, Finison said.


The Venue, which will be built at 6052 Watermelon Road between Finison's nursery and the park, will be open year-round to cater to the year-round schedule of sporting events at Sokol Park.

The five-acre property is technically in Tuscaloosa County, but Finison said he is considering working with the city of Tuscaloosa to annex the land into its city limits.

"Our side of town doesn't have anything like this," Finison said. "And really, Tuscaloosa doesn't have anything like this either."

He said the exact slate restaurants at the Venue has not yet been finalized as he works with an executive chef to create five distinct menus that offer a unique variety of options suited for any family's needs.

For more updates on the development of the Venue Tuscaloosa and announcements about its features, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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