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Prospective Gramling's Buyer Launches Crowd Source Campaign

The faded Gramling's sign on the iconic structure's exterior.
Tom Flanigan
The faded Gramling's sign on the iconic structure's exterior.

The old Gramling's Feed Store on Tallahassee's South Adams Street has been vacant since mid-2019. But now a local man is determined to re-open the property as a haven for live music.
That man is Brian Fobring.

"I was born and raised in Tallahassee. So I share similar stories with the individuals here who've also been born and raised in Tallahassee. And I feel as though our local history needs to be highlighted, better lime-lighted and shared with the public. And I believe preserving Gramling's helps to tell that story."

Fobring noted that the old feed store's former owner, Stan Gramling, was deeply connected to the local music scene. That tradition, says Fobring, should continue.

"Rebranding Gramling's as a performing art complex helps us to continue the Gramling's mission of feeding the soul and providing food for the future."

Fobring, by the way, is the guiding light of the Capital Battery Line, Inc. It's a non-profit that promotes the art of the drum line among area young people, including at-risk youth. Besides intricate musicianship and footwork, they learn teamwork, and other valuable life skills. Fobring believed the old Gramling's would make an ideal headquarters for that endeavor.

"The floors are actually in great shape. They have old, barnwood floors and that is a great foundation for our dance studio that we want to install as well as being a performing drum line. We do motions and pageantry and choreography. You gotta give us that floor space!"

So now, Fobring is laying the groundwork for an acquistion of the 106 year old structure.

"So besides bringing in an engineer to make sure everything is safe, what we'll do is mix what's existing from the old and update it with lighting and things like that to bring in the more modern and old style together."

In addition, Fobring would like to see the project as a redevelopment template.

"I want to make sure we use this project as an example for the rest of development here in Tallahassee. To show how we can use the already-existing and find the best use for it and use limited resources to upscale it, bring it up to code, and modernize it."

Although Fobring admitted it all depends on how you define the phrase "limited resources."

"It's $700,000 to acquire the property. And we'll probably need around $50,000-$100,000 extra to reinvest in the property to bring it up to structural code. So we have an ambitious goal set out of raising $800,000. We have a Go-Fund-Me account already listed online."

Which is also where the project can be tracked as it moves forward.

"And you all can follow us on Facebook as well as Instagram at: Capital Battery Line, Inc. for more information and updates."

Follow @flanigan_tom

Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

Find complete bio, contact info, and more stories. here.