Iconic Atlanta Nightclub MJQ Concourse to Relocate to Historical Dante’s at Underground Atlanta

Atlanta nightlife staple will occupy former Dante’s Down the Hatch space beginning in 2023 

Underground Atlanta’s momentum as the nightlife capital of Atlanta once again is quickly growing. MJQ Concourse’s relocation from its longtime Ponce De Leon outpost to the historic Dante’s Down the Hatch venue at Underground Atlanta, proves just that. Located along the property’s Lower Alabama Street, the Atlanta-born nightclub aims to open by the ends of 2023 to early 2024.

“MJQ Concourse is one of a kind and trying to hold onto the essence is non-negotiable when it comes to find out next home.The history of the city is getting wiped away so it only makes sense that we escape deeper down into Atlanta’s history for safety.Ultimately, Underground Atlanta’s preservation of the city’s rich history and eclectic feel as well as the Lalani Ventures team allowing us to have a voice in their conceptual development of the property are what convinced us there was nowhere else,” said Ryan Purcell, co-owner at MJQ Concourse. “We are thrilled that after being open for 25 years we will be taking over such a notable space that has not seen life for 25 years.It’s almost serendipitous to find Dante’s, a space that is not only at Underground Atlanta, but literally under Underground Atlanta’s lowest level.It allows our club to provide the same legendary underground, gritty experience our visitors have come to love at our current location. Those that have come to MJQ over the years are what make it and losing it we will not allow.We want everyone to know that our goal is to keep the core values, music, vibe, and diversity here forever.It might even be a little dryer.”

MJQ prides itself on being a dance club for the people; having always opted against the traditional ‘VIP section’ seen at other nightclubs, the club desires to promote a sense of community and inclusivity. The next chapter of the nightclub will continue to prioritize accessibility for its guests while preserving the authenticity and diversity Atlantans have always valued in the space. The team will preserve the structure of the pirate ship in the former Dante’s space, while leaning into MJQ’s already retro futuristic influences, transforming the venue into an interstellar docking station to further lean into the “concourse” branding. Fans of the nightclub can expect adjusted bar hours at the new location with sci-fi and movie influenced cocktails and light eats.

“MJQ is an essential part of Atlanta’s nightlife history, similar to Underground Atlanta. For the past 25 years, MJQ has provided a safe and diverse space for Atlantans to come together and have fun,” said Mary Turner, director of leasing at Lalani Ventures. “We were very protective about who we chose to revive the former Dante’s space, and MJQ is the perfect fit. The nightclub is a staple in Atlanta, and they are committed to keeping the nostalgia of this iconic bar alive through reviving the speakeasy entrance and famous pirate ship.”

MJQ joins a growing list of new tenants signed by Lalani Ventures at Underground Atlanta, including Common Grounds Coffee Shop, an eclectic cafe with a community-minded atmosphere, Doblo’s Pizza Co, a classic pizza joint with a Caribbean twist, and Atlanta Comedy Theatre, Atlanta’s premier upscale comedy club venue. CEO of Lalani Ventures Shaneel Lalani said of the announcement, “Preserving the unique history of Atlanta while bringing new and exciting experiences to Downtown Atlanta is the heart of our mission. We are proud to be home to two of Atlanta’s most iconic venues – The Masquerade, a classic Atlanta live music festival venue, and now, MJQ. This is how we’re maintaining Atlanta’s remarkable entertainment culture.”

Dante’s Down The Hatch was founded in the 1970s by Dante Stephensen and held a nearly 30-year reign as Underground Atlanta’s centerpiece, its most-loved nightlife destination. Longtime residents of Atlanta can still recall nights at Dante’s, communing over fondue and watching Stephensen perform, while the impossible-to-forget pirate ship, real-life crocodiles and mementos from Dante’s travels transported them to another world. For most, Dante’s served as a time capsule to an era of this city, a point in time the new generation of Atlanta may never know. Dante Stephensen officially closed the door on Dante’s Down The Hatch at Underground Atlanta in 1999, and now MJQ will bring new life to the iconic Atlanta hotspot.

The quintessential late-night dance club first opened in the basement of the Ponce de Leon Hotel in 1994. As the city of Atlanta has evolved, MJQ has moved right along with it, serving as a beloved setting for people of all backgrounds to convene, dance and enjoy themselves and imagining Atlanta’s nightlife scene. MJQ, like Dante’s, is a reminder to its fans of the history of Atlanta. As fate would have it, Dante’s Down the Hatch will have its second coming at Underground Atlanta 25 years after its doors were closed when MJQ officially reopens their new location in 2024, commemorating the night club’s 25th year in business.

New concepts at Underground also include Fulton County’s Public Arts Future Lab, an innovative artist residency funded by Microsoft, MARTA Artbound (MARTA’s public art program), and Arts & Entertainment Atlanta; YELLE Beauty, a Black woman-owned and operated beauty concept by Yandy Smith-Harris; Dancing Crepes, a new dining concept also by Yandy Smith-Harris; and Daiquiriville, a 2,200 square-foot indoor/outdoor restaurant and bar with karaoke and other entertainment, owned and operated by Colombian-native Luisa Duran.

These new tenants join The Masquerade, the famed Atlanta music and events venue; Future Showbar and Restaurant, a 14,000-square-foot, two-story LGBTQ restaurant and bar; and iScream Ice Cream, an old time ice cream parlor with modern edge desserts.

For more information about Underground Atlanta, visit Underground Atlanta on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.


Underground Atlanta has long been the cultural heart of Downtown Atlanta. With historic roots dating back to the 1900s, this arts, entertainment, and retail district spans multiple levels and four city blocks. In 2020, Lalani Ventures purchased Underground with a vision to restore and revitalize this iconic destination. Bordered by Pryor, Central, Wall, and Alabama Streets and connected to the Five Points MARTA, Underground Atlanta is a central, accessible space that will house local restaurants, entertainment and exhibition spaces, and galleries with a special focus on immersive art experiences. With a new and visionary team at the helm and the support and enthusiasm of the Downtown community, Underground will once again reflect and enhance the vibrancy of the city we call home. Follow along on Instagram,Facebook and Twitter.