Had all gone according to plan, bands would already be playing at the newly revived Kings Barcade by now. But because getting a nightclub open always takes longer than anyone expects, it's going to be late July at the earliest before Kings' live-music space opens at 14 W. Martin St. (where the old Martin Street Music Hall used to be in downtown Raleigh). Drop by this weekend, however, and you might find the downstairs basement bar Neptune's open.
"We are sprinting across the finish line of phase one, which is to get Neptune's open," says Ben Barwick, who is one of four Kings co-owners with Paul Siler, Steve Popson and Cheetie Kumar. "It's been hard, to put it in a word. We're under the gun in all kinds of ways. We're all tired, worn out, broke. But Cheetie's been working harder than any of us."
Barwick says that Bandway is "verbally committed" to playing Kings' grand reopening, whenever that happens, and the club will be one of the main venues for September's Hopscotch Festival. Also booked for right around then is expatriate metal band Valient Thorr on Sept. 8. With any luck, Kings' restaurant The Garland will also be open by then.
"It's definitely more art than science," Barwick says of the process. "It's all coming along. But a hard and fast date for everything is beyond our reach right now."