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Studdard plans to open nightclub

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — Ruben Studdard, who always promoted his hometown of Birmingham while on his way to becoming the "American Idol" of 2003, is taking his love for the city to a new level by planning a nightclub for Birmingham's proposed entertainment district.

The working name for Studdard's venue in the downtown district is Ruben's Club 205.

The 205 refers to Birmingham's area code, which Studdard sported on jerseys he wore on "American Idol."

The club was announced Wednesday by Performa Entertainment Real Estate and Jack Fields, executive director of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

Performa, best known for the Beale Street entertainment area in Memphis, is working with the convention complex to create a $50 million entertainment district next door.

Performa is also talking with Taylor Hicks, another Birmingham singer who won the "American Idol" title in 2006, about having a club in the district.

Mike Douglas, Hick's Birmingham attorney, said the talks are in the early stages, but Hicks would like to provide a place to showcase musicians he worked with before winning the "American Idol" title.

Plans for the entertainment district include two hotels and dozens of restaurants, nightclubs and shops that are supposed to open as early as summer 2009.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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