Almost a year after local artist Ryan Gentry and entrepreneur Michael Witham launched Open Source Project in Tempe, Witham says the future's looking dim.
The two opened the coffee shop/music venue/collaborative art space on University Drive after meeting at an art show and envisioning a collaborative space near campus for local creatives.
After Gentry's departure a few weeks ago, a necessary (and expensive) renovation, and a few permitting issues, Witham says he probably won't be renewing the lease, which expires at the end of December.
"It really has been a learning experience for me," says Witham, who was fresh out of the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU when he started Open Source. "I wanted to learn how to own and operate a business. With Open Source, we really were able to create something out of nothing ... but unless I run into a bunch of cash, or have a big chance of perspective on running a coffee shop/venue, I'm ready to move on."
The space was known to bring in a few experimental music groups and shows that were accessible to the under-21 crowd, and Final Fridays were a monthly rotation of well-known artwork by Lalo Cota, Breeze, Colton Brock, J.J. Horner, Jessica Jordan, Laura Best, Charles Darr, Bucky Miller, and more.
There aren't any music shows scheduled for the next few weeks due to a live music permit issue, but Witham says artwork by Matthew Best and coffee by the shop's barista, Gianni Assam, (and maybe a few goodbye celebrations) will continue through December.
Open Source Project is at 1415 E University Dr. #103A in Tempe. More info here.