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Rebuilding Brick By Brick

The iconic Bay Park hard rock club is back with new owners -- and a new spirit



    You know the name, you know the venue -- but Brick By Brick is now an entirely new beast.
    Back on December 13, 2013, the club's liquor license was suspended and the future of the club seemed doomed. The venue eventually closed its doors earlier this year and along with the recent closure of the nearby Griffin (which we reported here), live music in Bay Park has taken a huge hit. However, thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit (and a little nostalgia) of three San Diego musicians, Brick By Brick will be re-opening on July 24 under new ownership with an improved interior and a rejuvenated spirit.

    Earlier this year, Phil Sgrosso, Nick Hipa and Jordan Mancino (all former members of the Christian metal band As I Lay Dying, whose singer Tim Lambesis was sentenced to six years in prison recently -- read the SoundDiego report here) joined forces and purchased the venue with one idea in mind: Return "the Brick" to its glory days.
    "The opportunity to buy [Brick By Brick] came up and we just kind of went for it," Sgrosso told us. "The guys and I teamed up, and we got Alice Stinnett on board. She used to run the Scene a few years back. She's the promoter/general manager and she'll be handling the day-to-day operations."
    For those of us that frequented shows at the Scene, where it was located off Clairemont Mesa Blvd., the addition of Stinnett to the Brick By Brick family is a welcome one. However, a promoter won't be able to usher in a new era at the club alone, and that's where the new owners' vision comes into play.
    "We're trying to get the club, the bar, the stage -- everything about the venue -- in better condition than what it was before," Sgrosso continued. "Let's look at the stage: We tore the carpet off, we reinforced it with new plywood, we painted it, we're putting new lights in, we've got a new PA installed already, a new front of house console, we touched up the backstage room -- every aspect of the stage has been improved. We're just cleaning things out."
    Of course, the turnaround won't be immediate. The new owners, who are all current members of metal group Wovenwar (and set to tour with Black Label Society starting July 17), are taking the time to do it right and provide fans and concert-goers the Brick By Brick they deserve.
    "We'll be doing stuff in phases, including working on the bar. We're just trying to make a better experience for the fans. We wanted to have a really kickass sound system so we got one. [Brick By Brick] has so much potential but it wasn't being taken advantage of. It's exciting for us to make it something special again, like how the Scene was back in the day. We just want people to be able to enjoy every aspect of the room; from the shows, the bar, just chilling out with your friends -- we want to make coming here an experience."
    With everything coming together as planned, the club's already got some great shows booked with the Burning of Rome, Fuel and Corrision of Conformity. The grand re-opening will take place on Thursday, July 24 with Drum Wars (featuring Vinny & Carmine Appice, former drummers for Black Sabbath, Dio, Ozzy, Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck), followed the very next night by Philm -- a metal trio featuring Slayer's Dave Lombardo on drums.
    For more information on upcoming shows and tickets, go here.
    Brick By Brick Show Schedule (as of July 7)
    • July 24: Drums Wars: An Evening with Vinny & Carmine Appice
    • July 25: Philm (feat. Dave Lombardo), Symbolic, Sight Unscene, Nukem
    • July 26: The Burning of Rome, SanguinDrake, Mursic, Spero
    • July 31: Fuel, Royal Bliss, The Cavalry, Born to Rise
    • Aug. 16: The Angry Samoans, The Screamin' Yeehaws, DPI
    • Aug. 26: Corrosion of Conformity, Bl'ast, Brant Bjork, Lord Dying
    • Sept. 6: The Morgan Leigh Band, Kyle Setter

    Dustin Lothspeich plays in Old Tiger, Chess Wars and Boy King. Follow his updates on Twitter or contact him directly.