Ruben Studdard, Taylor Hicks to open Alabama night spots
American Idol season 2 winner Ruben Studdard is getting into the nightlife business with plans to open a restaurant/club in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. The as-yet-unnamed spot will serve up “Southern food with a twist,” Studdard told EW.com on the season 7 finale red carpet, and host “national headlining acts” in a live performance space with a capacity of 600. “My dream is to have John Mayer play on opening night,” Studdard said. The club will be located in downtown Birmingham’s new entertainment district, The Forge, which is undergoing an $80 million renovation scheduled to finish in summer 2009. According to a local report, comedian Jeff Foxworthy is also in negotiations for his own venue in the area, and Studdard reveals that another Idol winner is setting up shop nearby: “Taylor Hicks is opening a bar around the corner from me, so it’s gonna be big.” Now all the neighborhood needs is fellow Alabama native Bo Bice to join in and Birmingham could become the country’s prime Idol destination.