Steve Grossman has a passion for the arts, but not the restaurant business.
So, after nearly four years of operating Steve’s Live Music in Sandy Springs, a place where musicians and artists have performed to appreciative audiences over hummus or vegetarian quesadillas, the venue itself may soon be closing unless Grossman can find a partner willing to take on the food side of the business.
“I’m not going to continue running a restaurant past June,” Grossman said. “Steve’s Live Music could cease to exist in this location if I don’t find a partner. Cultural arts are real important to me and I know one space is not optimal in terms of trying to create music in the community.”
His lease expires in July on the building on Hildebrand Drive where Steve’s Live Music has been located since mid-2012. Grossman actively is seeking partners, saying his venue is ripe for a new chef or restaurateur to come in and make a mark while enjoying a built-in fan base of music and dance lovers.
At the same time, Grossman said he is exploring ways to broaden his reach by working with area restaurants, dance studios and other venues to bring in live performances, not only in Sandy Springs but in neighboring cities as well. However, Sandy Springs, he believes, is ground zero for a musical awakening. “I see Sandy Springs as fertile ground for becoming the next Nashville or Austin for the music scene,” he said.
With the many restaurants and mixed-use developments going up, Grossman has a vision of people strolling the streets and walking past restaurants or theaters where they could step in and listen to live music. City Springs, the new city center and the development surrounding it, is where Grossman believes live performances could really take off.
Since he opened, Grossman said more than 1,500 musicians have played Steve’s Live Music. From folk to bluegrass to a Beatles cover band to Gypsy Opera and Celtic dancing, Grossman serves a niche in metro Atlanta. “I probably get emails from five or six people a day wanting to play here. That adds up,” he said.
With his contacts with artists and venues, Grossman wants to expand to just booking acts. Already he is booking tours for some bands in North America and Europe, he said.
“My real passion is music. I want to bring music to the community. I want to bring art to the community. I just want to bring live music to everyone,” he said.