Stubb’s $5 Million Makeover

Stubb’s Bar-B-Q in Austin may soon get a $5 million makeover if C3 Presents and talent buyer Amy Corbin have their way.

The renovation and expansion plans have been on the drawing board for several years, but "tweaking" the blueprint as well as the navigation of city zoning and permit issues may mean another nine to 18 months before work begins, according to Corbin.

Stubb’s, which currently includes a 350-capacity indoor room and restaurant, as well as a 2,200-seat amphitheatre in the back yard, will renovate what is now a large storage building on the property to connect the elements into a full entertainment complex. The Austin landmark will remain open during the renovation.

"We’ve been having these plans for several years now of expanding, enhancing what we have, making the most of the space that we currently own," Corbin told Pollstar. "The building that is connected to Stubb’s has been vacant ever since we’ve been open. We want to utilize that space.

"The more shows we get and the higher-caliber acts that we confirm, we recognize that we definitely need to keep trying to make it better for both the fan and the bands, as far as production and experience goes."

It’s an ambitious plan, and one whose time has come, according to Corbin. Instead of operating as separate venues, the remade complex will be run as a unified whole including production, parking and food service. Stubb’s restaurant will double in size and the indoor room will connect to the amphitheatre.

"We pride ourselves here at C3 and at Stubb’s on being able to take care of the artist so that when they leave the club they say, ‘Wow, how awesome was that?’" Corbin said. "We have barbecue, cold beer, music. It doesn’t get any better than downtown Austin in the summer at night under the stars."

But there are practical and competitive considerations for the expansion as well, Pollstar’s Club Talent Buyer of the Year said.

"We do know that we have to compete with venues like House of Blues, where artists know they have the best of amenities when they arrive. The Austin Music Hall just did their renovation. We’re not doing this to compete with the Austin Music Hall, but to compete in the industry as far as being a stand-out venue," Corbin said.

Corbin and C3 envision larger stages, upgraded dressing rooms, a partitioning of the old storage building to accommodate shows from 400 to 1,500 capacity and plan to renovate the amphitheatre to handle up to 3,500-capacity shows.