The entertainment venue JBGB in uptown Fayetteville is scheduled to reopen in the fall but under a new name: J.J.’s Live.
The 13,416-SF facility is owned by Jody Thornton, who owns nine J.J.’s Grill restaurants in Arkansas. Thornton opened JBGB in May 2017 on Steele Boulevard, and the venue served as the corporate office for his restaurant empire, a brewery, a restaurant and bar and an outdoor stage for musical acts.
The facility closed in September 2019 for remodeling to enclose the outdoor music stage and much of the outdoor area. Thornton announced in January that, after a delay because of the pandemic, renovations had begun.
That was the same time frame in which MAG Capital Partners of Fort Worth paid Thornton $5.2 million for the property in a sale-leaseback agreement.
“JBGB opened in 2017 with a winning combination of great food, great service, in-house brewery, adult games, and huge outdoor entertainment area that included NWA’s premier live music amphitheater,” Thornton said in a social media post. “We realized that outside conditions — ‘too hot, too cold, too wet, too noisy’ — affected turnout. For JBGB to succeed on the scale we envisioned, we needed to conquer the ‘toos.’
“As we near the light at the end of the tunnel, we are excited to announce that we are rebranding JBGB as JJ’s LIVE. In our heart, we are still JJ’s. It’s the great food, great service, great atmosphere, and live music that got us here.”