Nine years ago when club DJ John Redden bought The Barbary just off Delaware Avenue in a gritty spot in Fishtown, "that area back then was considered the wild west," he said.
"There was Johnny Brenda’s that had opened recently and a couple other venues, but Fishtown was really local bars," he said today. "My main idea was to take all the parties that were thrown by different DJs and different genres – soul, hip hop, house electro, whatever - and have them all under one roof."
The Barbary was a destination spot. It hosted longstanding dance parties like Tigerbeats, The Bounce, and Bouffant Bangout.
But look around the lower end of Frankford Avenue now: The Fillmore, a 2,500-capacity hall, is across the street. So is the SugarHouse Casino.
"This is not the wild west out here anymore," said Redden, 38. "A place like the Barbary always thrived by being off the beaten path."
In sum, the coolness of that slice of Fishtown has cooled.
And so Redden - on his way to a new challenge he declines to disclose - has put The Barbary on the market. He was quick to emphasize that the venue will remain open until a sale is at hand.
At that point, as the countdown begins, there will be what Redden calls "a proper Barbary send-off."
He quoted the asking price at $2.2 million. The property by itself was sold in 2007 for $750,000.
A real estate flyer from Brian Zoubek and Brandon Fox at MSC Retail lays out the specifications:
A 4,872-square-foot, three-story building plus corner lot, with the liquor license, amusement permit, and business
First floor includes full bar, performance stage, DJ booth, dance floor, walk-in cooler, and access to 950 SF backyard.
Separate entrance available to second-floor event space with full bar, lounge, dance floor and prep kitchen.
Third floor includes office space with private bathroom.