Restoring WorkPlay’s Musical Legacy

In this episode of The Localist, host Carrie Rollwagen sits down with Johnny Grimes to explore the journey of restoring WorkPlay’s musical legacy. Johnny shares the fascinating story behind acquiring and renovating the 30,000-square-foot event space in Birmingham, which includes three concert areas, two recording studios, office space and an expanded bar. They dive into the history of WorkPlay, the significance of maintaining its rich historical background and Johnny’s hands-on management during the renovation process. He also talks about starting Furnace Fest with no initial capital, the importance of fearlessness and determination in business and the value of surrounding oneself with a diverse and skilled team. 

Additionally, Johnny touches on his involvement in other business ventures like Wheelhouse Salon and the nonprofit Skate Alabama. Throughout their conversation, Carrie and Johnny highlight the challenges and triumphs of starting businesses with minimal resources and underscore the crucial role of core values, clear vision and detailed agreements in business relationships. Tune in to gain insights into the dynamic world of music venue management, creative office spaces and the entrepreneurial spirit that drives Johnny Grimes.

Mentioned in this episode:

WorkPlay Website:

WorkPlay Instagram:

Furnace Fest:

Wheelhouse Salon:

Alan Hunter:

WatsonBruhn Builders:

Katherine Thrower’s Workshop Local episode:

Birmingham Mountain Radio:

Skate Alabama:

About Carrie

Carrie Rollwagen is host of the Localist podcast and cofounder of Church Street Coffee & Books. Currently, she works as Vice President of Strategic Planning at Infomedia, a web development company in Birmingham, Alabama. Find the Localist at @thinklocalist on Instagram and follow Carrie at @crollwagen.

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