A new music venue is coming to the vibrant and active arts district in downtown Winston-Salem in March. This city, already full of new and upcoming art and music, is more than ready to equip this 11,670 square foot venue. The intriguingly-named space, The Ramkat, will be replacing the location’s former venue, Ziggy’s. Although Ziggy’s had a lot of history in Winston Salem, The Ramkat intends to follow in its footsteps by bringing the citizens of Winston-Salem local and national artists.
The venue is said to focus mostly on live music, but in an attempt to expand the arts in Winston-Salem, it will also feature works of theatre, film and dance. The Ramkat has a capacity of up to 1,000 people, which the owners are hoping to attract many touring bands along with local theatre and dancing performances.
“I am very pleased that this wonderful partnership has been formed and that our community is going to be blessed with these new entertainment options,” said Jason Thiel, president of the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership, Inc. and partner in opening the new venue. “I am confident that this will be a long-lasting venture with many benefits to our community.”
Many patrons are excited to have this type of venue coming to Winston-Salem, considering most people have to travel to other cities such as Charlotte and Raleigh to see concerts and theatre productions, excluding art-oriented Winston-Salem. Not only will the Ramkat support touring bands, but it will also support local bands. The Garage was another venue that recently closed to the lament of local artists that played there. However, past performers have been assured that they will get their spotlight at The Ramkat. The owners have voiced efforts to allow space for local artists to perform because they are very passionate about giving local artists the chance to show off their talents.
The Ramkat is co-owned by Richard Emmett and Andy Tennille, who have long been involved in the music scene in Winston-Salem. Tenille is the music director at the Blue Ridge music center and will be splitting his time between the two projects. They hope to bring more music and art to the already vibrant and growing music scene in Winston.
“We’re thrilled to announce the opening of The Ramkat,” said Richard Emmett, a co-owner and managing partner of The Ramkat, in a press release. “Over the next several months, we’ll be busy booking shows while preparing the room for a grand opening. We are grateful for the support of the community and the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership in making this project possible.”
They have also partnered with Bryan Ledbetter, who owns two design companies in Winston-Salem — Airtype Studios and Camel City Goods. Ledbetter will be supplying the merchandise for the venue and the company, while also designing the logos and brand for The Ramkat. He even invested in the company too. His own musical passion makes him a vital partner in opening the venue.
“As a former touring musician that’s played in rooms all over the country, I’m excited to be partnering with Richard and Andy to bring The Ramkat to life,” Ledbetter said in a press release. “And as a supporter of downtown Winston-Salem, I’m eager to see how The Ramkat will enhance the entertainment options available in our great city.”
The two came up with the venue’s unique name by drawing inspiration from the city’s history. It refers to the area that sprung up around the tobacco warehouses around the 19th century. The name draws attention, while also preserving the history of the city.
The Ramkat is a two-story building located at 170 W. Ninth St., Winston-Salem. To stay up to date on the venue you can sign up for the newsletter at theramkat.com. In addition to their newsletter, The Ramkat has Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, to keep everyone updated on future events.