The Wilbury Brings Heat With Funk, Rock and BBQ
Railroad favorite is shaping up to be a major factor in Tallahassee’s growing live-music scene, offering local bands and national talent.
A couple of local bands got the crowd ready ahead of Rebirth that night, and while the energy was less than the Rebirth-level overdrive, the crowd was enthusiastic and supportive, especially for up-and-coming guitar slinger Hub Chason and his band of Good Little Chickens.
The Wilbury is shaping up to be a major factor in Tallahassee’s growing live-music scene, offering a mix of local bands and national talent including Cindy Wilson of the B-52s, Wreckless Eric, and Rebirth.
Most of the shows have no cover charge, and the national acts are modestly priced. With live entertainment roughly three nights a week and a fully stocked bar with more than a dozen quality craft beers on tap, this latter day juke joint near the intersection of Gaines and
Railroad is becoming a crossroads favorite of the college crowd and adventurous locals of all ages.
The range of musical genres at The Wilbury is impressive, ranging from blues-rock to hip hop to shoegaze to full-blast, paint-peeling rock.
This diversity is seen too at local clubs like Fifth & Thomas, Blue Tavern, Junction at Monroe, and Indianhead Factory that are taking chances both in their artistic curation and in giving local musicians a supportive place to present their work, sometimes alongside established artists like Rebirth.
Are we witnessing a live music renaissance in Tallahassee? CowHaus Productions’ Brian Giblett has been promoting live music here for 20 years, including this Rebirth show.
He spoke about the importance of venues such as The Wilbury to a live music scene that has long suffered for lack of viable stages.
“Well, it’s been harder with there being fewer venues, for sure. But The Wilbury has been stepping up to fill more of that void, and I know they are planning to do more to make shows better there. I think people are getting back into seeing live music a little more now than maybe a year or two ago.”
The Wilbury opened in November 2016, one of several new Gaines Street businesses that followed the streetscape renovation, a surge that turned the district into a polyglot of offbeat hotspots. We asked owner Ryan Smith what he envisioned when he opened his joint.
“We wanted The Wilbury to be a place that preserves the sense of community, art and music that the Gaines/Railroad district has always stood for. We grew up coming to shows and First Fridays in this area, and it provided us countless good times, experiences and memories. We want to hold on to the past and at the same time embrace the future.”
And what does the future hold?
“We hope that the Gaines/Railroad district keeps its sense of identity and expands upon it in a positive direction by fostering personal, cultural and local economic growth. In five years we would love for The Wilbury to be known across the country as the place for up and coming, mid-level and the occasional larger band to come to Tallahassee and play.”
“Oh … and we’d also like to be known for our fantastic BBQ, badass bartenders and awesome mini-bowling lanes! We aren’t your normal type of place. You can’t get much more Gaines Street than that.”
The Wilbury is open Monday through Saturday from 11.30 a.m. until 2 a.m., making it a convenient place for lunch, a casual dinner or a late-night nosh.
And if you need a bite after Sunday go-to-meeting — or if you crave a little hair of the dog — Sunday brunch is served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.