Patrick Bailey's search for a live-music venue didn't take him too far away from his downtown Delaware record shop.
Bailey, who owns Endangered Species -- the Last Record Store on Earth, 11 W. Winter St., plans to begin hosting concerts in the spring at the adjacent Knights of Pythias lodge, 9 W. Winter St.
Bailey said the fraternal organization has been working with him over the winter to fix up a portion of the lodge for use as a music venue.
He said his store sharing a wall with the potential concert hall was a "happy accident."
"I had seen it before, but it was in disarray," he said of the space. "It really hasn't been used for anything for years, so I didn't know what the status was or anything."
Conversations with his neighbors led the group to update its dusty "grand ballroom" with his help to get ready for future performances.
Although the venue is new, Bailey's knack for putting together shows is well-honed.
"In the '90s, I worked with the Delaware Arts Castle and started a couple concert programs for them over the years. That gave me the bug," he said. "When I moved to Montana, I actually had my own theater that was above my store."
Bailey, who is nearing four decades in the record trade, lived and worked in Montana for about a decade starting in the late 1990s before moving back to central Ohio to be closer to his parents. After returning home, he reopened his record store on North Sandusky Street before moving to a larger storefront on West Winter Street a few years ago.
While Endangered Species occasionally has hosted small, free performances, Bailey said he has long thought about bringing bigger concerts to Delaware. He said he found it "very odd" that no one in the city beat him to the idea.
"I'd like to take it to another level, and there really isn't any competition in Delaware at all," he said.
Bailey said he sees the venue, which will be known as the Pat-Cave, as a home for progressive rock, jazz-fusion and international musicians.
Tickets for the shows are expected to run between $5 and $20. Bailey said he also will offer free admission to people willing to volunteer to work at the shows.
The Charlie Foxtrot Quintet, a swing band, will play a soft opening for the venue April 28. Progressive-rock band District 97 will play May 11.
Music fans can buy tickets for the shows at Endangered Species or at the door before the shows if they do not sell out early. The venue has a maximum occupancy of 250 people, but Bailey said he expects to offer fewer tickets to most shows to help maintain an intimate atmosphere.
Bailey said the reaction from his customers and local music lovers has been positive since he announced the project March 17 on Facebook.
"I haven't had any negative (feedback). Everyone's been very, very excited," he said. "But we'll see. The proof will be in the ticket sales."