Mister Peterson’s Neighborhood: Clear Visions: Ian Ranne
What’s the good word people. Hope all has been dope and moving great for you all in 2018. I’m currently at a new pub I located that has some awesome drinks for a more awesome price. Usually, it’s a variety of Pop and vintage Hip Hop playing in here but tonight, it’s Bluegrass and Soft Rock. It’s a change from the weekend that was filled with the typical Top 40, Rap from the FAMU era (2000–2005) and Reggae I had to spin at 2 gigs…so I’m good.
I got to a stopping point with writing some lyrics and jumped on Facebook…to see Triclops, also known as Ian, opening up another venue in the Spring. The title: Justice Pub. Congrats to the homie first off. Secondly, I felt it was the right time to post a ‘write up’ I did on him months ago. I won’t get into any politics of it, but I will say, he’s a great guy in my eyes and a winner to the community he serves. Enjoy the read.
‘No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.’
With life being a daily task for people, one would not stand back to think about the brains of some of the most famous bars and venues of Jacksonville, Florida. One person that has a solid name around town and a great calling for the community would be Ian Ranne.
Also known as Triclops, he was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida and has resided here for all of his 37 years. He grew up on the Southside with his Mom, who recently got married, and his brother Ryan, that is a manager at the Mellow Mushroom on Southside Blvd. He states that his place was the hang out spots for him and his friends and that is where he found interest in the art of servicing people.
He knew he was going to run his own business while working family owned restaurants. ‘I always knew I was going to work in service…serve people and make them smile’, he states. Ian started working in the kitchen at 16 years old and continued that until he was 22. He then started working at the London Bridge Pub, where his bartending expertise began. While that career was taking flight, he began booking shows at The Imperial on West Forsyth Street. The name that is common to most Hip Hop artists and fans was ‘Hip Hop Hell’, a weekly Tuesday event that was the grounds of any rapper that wanted to own their craft, and their respects. Ian holds the responsibility for bringing in artists like Ghostface Killah of the Wu Tang and the west coast rap group Souls of Mischief. While all of this was taken place, something better was waiting for him.
To give the ages of Ian’s bars, we start with the original and the oldest bar that celebrated their 11th year of ‘coolness’: Shanty Town Pub, that is stationed on West 6th Street off Main Street, in the Springfield area. ‘We started Shantytown (Pub) with zero dollars’, says Ian. He explains that it took roughly 8 months of making tips and running the bar daily to handle standard duties like plumbing, electricity and keeping the coolers stocked. ‘We paid cash for everything.’ 2 or so years later, Ian and Tony Allergretti birthed an idea to use an adjacent building to house a local record store called ‘Hip Hop Hell Records’ and Burro Bags, a brand that catered to the bicycle community and paralleled with the rockers and the Hip Hop heads.
Going through downtown and riding on the east end of Adams Street, you’ll pass the spirit of Burro Bar. The idea of this location partly began from the creation of Burro Bags. When it was opened, you could catch Mas Appeal and Sean Tibbets hosting their weekly event ‘Hip Hop and Hookah’ and occasional shows from traveling tour bands.
Crossing over to the 5 Points area, you’ll find 5 year old Rain Dogs, that sits next door to the closed Cask and is a block away from the old building that held Lomax. From there, you can take either College Street or Post Street to the new 1 year old Nighthawks. The newly bar gives a fresh home to some of the ‘OGs’ with some of the best shows from Stono Echo and ‘OG Thursdays’, a weekly Hip Hop night hosted by DJ Shotgun and Paten Locke (one half of Stono Echo). Honorable mentions would be the record store that sat in alongside Shanty Town Pub and Burro Bags, which was spawned from that location. All of which many artists have made memories at and that Ian is proud of. His pride on providing service is evident and genuine.
You never know what you’re going to walk into when you go into his bars. You’re subject to hear a variety of local and chittlin circuit artists that play Bluegrass, Punk Rock and again, Hip Hop. ‘Shanty Town was supposed to be a reggae bar but that didn’t last long,’ says Ian. He states that his locations are an idea of a public living room, hence the word ‘pub’ being in one of his establishments’ names. Some of the local greats like Simple Complexity (Tough Junkie and Mas Appeal), T.W.A.N., Cheech Forreign, Duval Spit and Geexella have made the living room experience grand, thanks to Ian opening the doors for them and other countless local and national artists.
When asked what kept him on this path to give numerous entertainment outlets to Jacksonville and to stay here, he said it’s all about building relationships. He also states that being a good host and giving a good product serves as his reasons to keep his headquarters at home. Adding to those facts about his stationary status, he’s also a major music lover and gives major praises to Hip Hop. ‘Hip Hop is my first love, it’s my culture’, says Ian. ‘Business or not, I feel like it’s very important, for the Hip Hop heads, to have a weekly event’. Ian commends the former owners of the late London Bridge Pub Mark and Ginger for educating him on the business rules and furthermore, getting him his start at running a business. He references Christina Wagner, his business partner for the last 5 years and helps with the operations of Rain Dogs and Nighthawks. Along with speaking highly of his gained knowledge, he circles back to applaud Hip Hop and his efforts to continue stimulating the Hip Hop and overall, Duval the entertainment world.
‘I grew up in Hip Hop. Hip Hop taught me everything I know, how to do everything I do…from the way I look, the way I walk, the way I dress. Even though I’m a 37 year old man, the way I handle business still comes from the lessons I learned in Hip Hop when I was a teenager.’ It is quite obvious that the common denominator with his success and accomplishments stem from his love of Hip Hop.
‘What Hip Hop teaches you is that anything is possible. Punk rock kinda teaches the same lessons. Even though it’s 2 completely different kinds of music’, says Ian. When asked what it means to have these venues for artists to develop and grow, he describes this feeling saying that it gives the artist a sense of being self-sufficient and that it’s absolutely necessary for our own economy. ‘I’m not just creating an event, I’m creating a life.’
It’s been 14 years since his beginnings and judging from his expression of that number, he definitely has a happy reflective glow about him. Expect many more from him, whether he is putting on a show or keeping the beers cold and coming.