A.J. Jump (above) and Mary McKenna (not pictured) will be opening a new music venue in the basement of the
Polish Union building on N. Main Street.
Image by Mark Moran for the Citizen’s Voice

Downtown Wilkes-Barre has been missing an all- ages music venue since 2011 when Café Metropolis closed its doors for the last time. Fortunately, owners A.J. Jump and Mary McKenna hope to change this issue.

Karl Hall, Jump and McKenna’s new 16-and-over music venue, will be opening in January 2018 near King’s College in the basement of the Polish Union building on N. Main St.

The venue is named for McKenna’s late husband Kevin Karl, who was a member of various bands throughout the Wyoming Valley for the past two decades.

A.J. Jump, an avid supporter of the arts and a local musician who has toured with a number of bands globally and worked “16 years professionally in the music venue,” hopes to create a space for artists to showcase their talents.

This new venue will not just be for enjoying music. Instead, Jump aims to make it a “space that can be used for any and all the arts” including showcasing the works of local visual artists and hosting stand-up comedy routines and poetry readings and slams.

The venue will feature 65 seats or standing room for 100 people depending on the event, and tickets will be available online for advance purchase.

Although he was reluctant to name bands that would be playing at the venue, he did mention Jack’s Mannequin, Title Fight, Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness and Something Corporate as bands that he has worked with previously, and stated that “a lot of friends [from his 16 years in the industry] owe me a lot of favors… [including]… current people of pop radio and current people on rock radio.”

Jump also stated that the venue will be a B.Y.O.B. venue, but will be policed accordingly with cooperation from the local authorities, campus security, and his own security team who will be handing out wristbands to those 21 and over and consequently patrolling the venue to maintain his “no toleration” policy on underage drinking, drug use, and violence.

Jump hopes that the opening of this new venue will add to the up-and-coming downtown scene and serve as a place to foster local artists and musicians.