It’s sweltering inside The Hive, but not because the dance floor is packed with bodies. There is no dance floor, nor are there bar stools, bathrooms or air-conditioning, the last explaining why there’s sweat gathering on Jim Reding’s face as he steers Las Vegas Weekly’s exclusive site tour back outdoors, to the cooler temperatures of midday July Downtown Las Vegas.
Set to open in March and then postponed until fall, the space at the southeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Fremont Street remains shuttered—more accurately, its windows are plastered with “Coming Soon” notices—and, apart from a few empty water bottles and some architectural renderings, empty. And these days, Reding isn’t predicting when his would-be bar and music venue might debut, save to say that he hopes it happens sometime in 2009.
“We’ve lost our funding twice since October,” Reding, one of The Hive’s four managing partners, explains. “We’re looking for investors, but I don’t have to tell you about the economy. So for now we’re doing it cash-out-of-our-own-pockets, little by little. It’s a little painful.”
Actually, $23,000 per month in rent for the 8,000-square-foot building, not to mention $80,000 spent on interior demolition (the space previousled housed a 7-Eleven and an adjoining gift shop), sounds a lot painful. But Reding and partners Robert Stamm, Wayne Jeffries and J.T. Moran insist they remain fully committed to setting The Hive abuzz, even if it takes longer and costs more than they ever envisioned.
“The only thing we know is that it will open,” Reding says. “And we’re staying with the entire program we developed. We just might not go with everything at the start.”
That means schematics for a horseshoe-shaped VIP level upstairs and an adjacent burger restaurant downstairs will be shelved initially, with all funding pumped into the main-floor music and bar area, a space topped by an impressive vaulted roof—35 feet high at its peak—complete with exposed wooden trusses.
“We love music, and when this opportunity came up it just felt right, so we decided to throw our chips in and go for it,” Stamm says.
“Downtown is where we spend a lot of our time, and this space was exactly what we were looking for,” Reding adds.
Musically, the 21-and-over, 600-lower-level-capacity Hive intends to specialize in pop-punk, emo and alternative rock, though Jeffries says the venue won’t shut its doors to good music of any genre. “We want to keep it as eclectic as we can,” he says. “We think eventually, we’ll start attracting the top 10 percent of acts not playing the House of Blues or Hard Rock [Hotel], to be the venue of choice of everything below 800 [capacity].”