123 Pleasant Street, 1998-present
Fortunately, the condemned building was purchased in June of 1998 by a new owner, LJ (a local boy). A long-time patron of the bar and music fan, LJ was not interested in demolition, but the goal of saving the building, preserving its history, and continuing the glory of its music years under a simple name that encompasses the feeling that this building exudes: 123 Pleasant Street. Numerous people (including veterans of The URR and The Nyabinghi) helped in this effort to save the building. With paint still drying, the venue reopened in October 1998 with a show by local bands Granny's 12 Gauge, Lugen Farms Dairy, and Bobby Lane after some major, major repairs. The restoration of the Brick Row building has given it a new lease on life and promises to keep it around for many years to come. Moreover, it remains a place where people from across the spectrum are welcome. 123 Pleasant Street is not the Underground RR or the Nyabinghi Dance Hall, but it incorporates the best attributes from these earlier incarnations of the bar while being better prepared to host Morgantown's music scene than ever before.
In the process of rehabilitating the structure, the high tin ceilings of the 1921 storerooms were uncovered (above two different drop ceilings) in the stage room and upper bar, spurring the addition of similar tin ceilings in the lower room. In repairing the stage room floors, 6 layers of previous flooring were discovered. Even now, one can find remnants of every era of the building by simply observing. The original outdoor signs from the Underground RR and the Nyabinghi Dance Hall are hung in honor in the stage room. The Art-Deco storefronts are to be restored. When you visit look at the ceilings and walls, the barn wood (from the URR days) covering many features in the rooms, the fireplaces on the walls where you'll sit your beers, and the rock-n-roll legacy carried on by the famous and not-so-famous people on stage. This place is a true amalgamation of the past, the present, and the future. And please remember, you too will become history one day...
This is just a small part of the story of this building, and hopefully I'll be able to work on this and add more here as time goes on. So, why write this? Because I like history and this place is one of Morgantown's most unrecognized and misunderstood historical buildings. Plus, this establishment has helped give me (and apparently lots of other people) some fine memories, and I wanted to help tell the story to those new to Morgantown or who are yet to come. One thing is for sure: this is a great place to watch bands, and an even better place to play your guts out. Knowing that, the future is up to you.