​​‘The Nest,’ ASU’s New Entertainment Venue, Officially Opens with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

News Date
the nest logo

By Hazel Scott/ASU

People in the tri-county area now have a new entertainment venue to enjoy.

Alabama State University held a ribbon ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 18, to officially open “The Nest. More than 100 supporters were on hand for the unveiling of the campus’s newest dining and entertainment establishment, located at The ASU Stadium on Harris Way above the University’s Ticket Office.  

Aramark, ASU’s food service provider, will manage the venue, which offers a “taste of Bama State Spirit.”

“It’s a great time to be a Hornet!  We are excited about opening The Nest and welcoming the community under one of Alabama State University’s (Strategic Plan) anchors, CommUniversity.  On behalf of the University and the Board of Trustees, I would like to thank our partners, especially Aramark, for the opportunity for all of this to come to fruition. Also, a special thanks to my staff and my leadership team for helping us to fulfill a vision here at Alabama State University. Thank you all for your support. We couldn’t have done it without you,” said Ross.

Aramark General Manager Xavier Hicks said since Dr. Ross has become ASU’s President, Aramark has had three ribbon cuttings on campus.

“Aramark is proud of its partnership with Alabama State University. As an alumnus of this great institution and as general manager for Aramark, I’m doubly proud to be a part of this project. Today’s ceremony is a culmination of 14 months of planning and construction. When you enter these doors, you will be amazed by the ambiance and the style of this facility. I see this as a gathering place for Montgomery, the River Region and for those who visit this campus. We want the community to be a part of this experience,” Hicks emphasized.

Joining President Ross and other University representatives at the ceremony were members of Hornet Nation, community leaders, alumni and elected officials including members of the Montgomery County Commission, City Council, Alabama House of Representatives, Montgomery Police and Sheriff Departments, and members of the Governor’s Cabinet. Board of Trustee (BOT) Chairwoman Brenda Brown Dillard, Trustee Vice Chair Delbert Madison, Trustee Tiffany B. McCord, Trustee  Pamela J. Ware and Trustee Joe Whitt Sr. were in attendance as well.

Trustee Dillard said the BOT is proud of the finished product. “Kudos to President Ross and Aramark for making this happen.”

Both Ross and Dillard gave special thanks to two pioneers whose earlier work was instrumental in the construction of the facility.

“I would just like to give a special appreciation for John Knight (ret. State Representative and former ASU Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer) and (the late Montgomery County Commission Chair) Elton Dean. Those two people who helped to pave the way for this happening,” Dillard explained.

Ross echoed Dillard and gave a special nod to Knight, who was part of the ribbon cutting.

“I’d like to give special thanks to Dr. Knight. It was under his leadership that this stadium was built,” Ross said.

Ross pointed out that the University’s operations and related activities have made an impact on the state’s economy and now sees The Nest as a catalyst of economic impact for Montgomery.

“As you know, with all that we do at Alabama State University,  even down to the employees who work at this institution, it has an economic impact. So, when you talk about the number of games that we have here, the Big Games such as The Labor Day Classic and even the President’s Gala, we have a tremendous impact on hotel stays, restaurants and much more. We are glad that we can contribute to the overall economic impact of the city of Montgomery,” Ross said.

After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, patrons toured the facility and enjoyed an evening of food, entertainment and dancing.  

About the Nest

The new 5,000-square-foot facility provides a comfortable and vibrant atmosphere.  It has a modern design with an open floor plan.  Described as “not the typical eatery or entertainment spot,” The Nest caters to patrons aged 25 and above who can relax and socialize while enjoying fine or casual dining.

The Nest has a state-of-the-art entertainment system, 19 television screens, a full bar, a performance stage with live performances and DJs on specialty nights, and a dance floor. The Nest is a sophisticated gathering place that’s the perfect after-work spot to wind down, socialize or dance the night away.

“This location was a shell for eight years before ASU and Aramark partnered to make this happen,” Hicks said. “Now, we have a wonderful venue that’s open every week. And on game-day, it’s a great spot for our Hornets fans, tailgaters and the public as well.”

The dining and entertainment venue also boasts amenities such as The Patio at The Nest, which features television screens, comfortable seating and the perfect outdoor setting to watch the big game. Although billed as a Premium Game Day Experience, The Patio will be open during The Nest’s regular business hours, which are Wednesday through Friday from 5 to 10 p.m. and on Saturdays from noon to 10 p.m.  These hours may vary for Classic game days and special events.

There is no cover charge for The Nest, except for special events.

“We hope The Nest becomes your entertainment destination. A place where you can experience that Ole ‘Bama State welcome while hanging out with friends, enjoying good food and entertainment,” Ross added. “The Nest is not only for the Hornets, but it’s also for the entire community.”

For more information about rates and availability, please contact the Office of Operations and Event Management at TheNest@alasu.edu.