Reign Nightclub Plans to Open Friday
Manager says liquor license is valid.
If you walk along Peachtree Street, you'll notice the brown paper has been stripped from the windows of the white building at the corner of 11th Street in Midtown.
If you peek through the window, you'll see white studded chairs with gold crowns, animal print rugs, tall lamps and tan booths.
That's because a nightclub called Reign will have a soft opening Friday night, according to manager Gebriel Gidewon of the Gidewon Group. Guests will arrive between 9 and 10 p.m., he said.
The building -- which has two addresses, 1021 Peachtree Street and 1029 Peachtree Street -- actually houses two spaces: Reign nightclub (formerly SPI Club) and Vanquish lounge. Vanquish had a soft opening last Saturday, Gidewon said. Between 50 and 75 people showed up, he said.
Gidewon said there is no official opening date for either space. "We haven't decided what we will do next week," he said. Soft openings are opportunities for business owners to test their systems, Gidewon said.
Reign opens amid allegations that club's liquor license has expired. In April, the Daniel Corporation (which operates the adjacent 12th & Midtown development) had an attorney send a letter to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed's office that argued the club can't open because its liquor license has expired.
But Gidewon said Reign will serve alcohol Friday night. "It's a nightclub," he said.
He said the club has approval from the state and city to serve alcohol.
"We received [alcohol] deliveries last Friday through the state," Gidewon said. "The state has to approve everything."
In response to the allegation that the club's alcohol license expired April 18, Gidewon said the club had opened before that date so the license is valid.
"We had done a couple of events before then," he said. When asked the date the club first opened, Gidewon said he couldn't remember.
The Mayor's Office said in April that it would investigate whether the liquor license is valid. The office has not responded to Patch's requests for an update on the issue since then.
The Gidewon Group operates other large nightclubs including Compound in West Midtown. The group also ran the former Vision Nightclub on Crescent Avenue. Some residents complained that Vision generated traffic and noise, according to reports on the Midtown Ponce Security Alliance website.
Midtown resident Michael Floyd remembers what it was like when Vision was in business. He said there were lines of cars and people yelling and screaming.
"It was really confrontational," Floyd said Wednesday night.
"I have no problem with a club. But they [the Gidewons] have a bad track history ... It looks like they aren't good neighbors and business owners in Midtown."
But Gidewon said he thinks the club will be a great addition to the neighborhood. Reign is a smaller, more intimate space than Vision was, he said.
"It's a different day," Gidewon said. "That venue [Vision] was good for what it was six years ago."
At a Wednesday night meeting with the Midtown Ponce Security Alliance, new Zone 5 Commander Maj. Chris Leighty assured people that police would keep a close eye on the club.
"We'll monitor it closely," Leighty said. "We are not going to let it get out of control."