Our section of downtown Winston-Salem continues to grow! Here are a few of the newest businesses to open in this constantly evolving entertainment district. Check them out as you come to visit our museum!
The Ramkat…music for the people
Three guys with strong connections to music came together to envision a new kind of music venue in downtown Winston-Salem. The Ramkat opened in early March in the former Ziggy’s building at 170 West 9th Street near Wise Man Brewing. Owners Brian Ledbetter, Richard Emmett and Andy Tennille came together after both The Garage and Ziggy’s closed their door after decades-long runs sharing music with Winston-Salem residents.
Ledbetter originally wanted to open a bar, then considered a speakeasy. After being approached by Emmett about a music joint idea, he was in. Tennille and Emmett had been pondering a concept for a while and the three eventually decided the former Ziggy’s location would work for what they had in mind.
The Ramkat is a club that’s not too overpoweringly loud with shows that start at a reasonable time. Musical acts will feature local performers as well as fresh musical acts from tours around the country. While primarily a music and rock room, the owners also want it to be a community performance space (think theatre and dance). Patrons can enjoy the music in the standing room space in front of the stage or by paying slightly more and getting a private table in the balcony space. The Ramkat has a small bar that can be accessed without a ticket, and of course, Wise Man is a short walk across the parking lot. You can get a complete listing of the upcoming shows and purchase tickets online at https://www.theramkat.com/.
170 W. 9th Street
Remember Drivin’ n Cryin’? They’ll be playing at The Ramkat on April 13!
What does “Ramkat” even mean?
There’s a cool story about the name given to this new music venue. Tennille discovered online that in the 1890s, the neighborhood encompassing Trade Street and the music venue was where tobacco warehouses were located. The tobacco workers had their own bars and drinking rooms and boarding houses around that warehouse district. That neighborhood was referred to as The Ramkat. The name grew on the owners, and they decided it would be perfect for their new business venture.
Rock Box Bouldering…for the thrill of it
A love of climbing developed right here at Pilot Mountain – despite Ben Burgess originating from Boulder, Colorado. Burgess wanted to share his love of “bouldering” or climbing done close to the ground, without ropes and emphasizing movement and strength. Rock Box Bouldering was born and is opening on April 1st in its location at 1024 North Chestnut Street.
What’s great about this climbing wall facility is that there truly is something for everyone. There are classes for complete beginners and ones for experts. Programs are still being developed, and the facility can also handle group events such as birthday parties and team-building activities. They offer day passes, multi-visit passes and monthly/annual memberships.
Rock Box Bouldering
1024 N. Chestnut Street
Hours: 1 -10 pm, Monday-Friday
9 am-9 pm, Saturday
Fair Witness…for fancy drinks and more
If creative cocktails are your thing, look no further than this cute new bar just a few blocks from our museum. Fair Witness opened up at 290 E. Fourth Street in the former spot occupied by Black Lodge and Mesmerizer Records. The bar, named after a character type in a book, opened after five months of work by partners Blake Stewart and Tim Nolan. Stewart and Nolan, who were childhood friends, did most of the work renovating the space to create a casual, low-key atmosphere.
Stewart has developed quite a following as a drink mixologist working at Hoots, Tate’s Craft Cocktails and Single Brothers in Winston-Salem. Both he and Nolan like to try out new drink ideas and create new concoctions – which is why the menu changes frequently. Nolan enjoys using syrups and infusions. Once he creates a new mixture, he hands it off to his bartenders who use them in coming up with some of their own creative drinks.
Patrons can even get customized drinks – low-alcohol or even no-alcohol options upon request. So if you are looking for a neighborhood-style bar with a unique twist, Fair Witness is your place. (They do sell beer and wine as well for those who don’t enjoy cocktails.)
290 E. Fourth Street
Hours: 4 pm – 2 am, Monday-Saturday
12 pm – 12 am, Sunday