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Laura J. Gardner | The Journal Gazette
Dustin Bennett works on cutting pieces of flooring for the restrooms at 11 Eleven Lyceum.

Harley crew has grand plans for Lyceum

Laura J. Gardner | The Journal Gazette
A new events venue opens this month in the building that already houses Lucky Harley Davidson.

On the weekend of March 23, the Phunk-n-Ink Tattoo and Music Festival will move from Grand Wayne Center, where it has been for three years, to a venue that doesn’t quite exist yet.

It’s called the 11 Eleven Lyceum, and it is partly the brainchild of Jason Breckenridge, general manager of Lucky Harley Davidson.

11 Eleven Lyceum will be part of the Lucky Harley Davidson building on Illinois Road near Interstate 69 and it will serve as a combination banquet facility, convention hall and concert venue.

Lucky’s manager, Brittany Rickord, said the space where 11 Eleven Lyceum is currently under construction once housed a branch of the sporting goods retailer Jumbo Sports and then was used for storage.

“People kept coming up and asking if the space could be rented,” she said.

Breckenridge also hopes to generate more business for Lucky by making it a destination for reasons other than the merely motorcyclical, Rickord said.

The name refers to Breckenridge’s wedding anniversary, Rickord said, and also to the widespread belief that 11:11 as it appears in a date or on a clock is an omen of good luck.

The live and musical goal of 11 Eleven Lyceum is to address an unfilled niche in Fort Wayne, Rickord said.

“Our target is people 35 and older with discretionary income,” she said. “We’re not trying to compete with Piere’s.”

Breckenridge’s assistant, Cindy Nissen, said her boss recently attended a show on Peter Frampton’s “Frampton Comes Alive” anniversary tour and came away from it wondering why Fort Wayne isn’t visited by more musicians of Frampton’s eminence and vintage.

She hastened to add that 11 Eleven Lyceum hasn’t scheduled any concerts yet, but she mentioned a number of acts often grouped under the classic rock bumbershoot as being the sort that the venue might court.

“Nostalgic bands that usually don’t get a lot of young crowds,” assistant manager Amber Cox explained. “We want to host date nights for older couples.”

Rickord said Lucky hopes soon to sign a contract with Live Nation, which would give it access to the vast array of artists that the entertainment company promotes.

The color scheme and decorative accents in 11 Eleven Lyceum will have a distinctly manly bent, Cox said.

“Jason wanted the overall feel to be masculine,” she said.

“Other banquet halls are designed more with women in mind, obviously,” Cox said, given that wedding-related events make up the bulk of their business.

The floor will be bright red to match the gold and burgundy 11 Eleven Lyceum logo, and the men’s bathroom will be done up in hues and textures that evoke leather and tobacco, she said.

“Tasteful” vintage pin-up girls will decorate the women’s bathroom, Cox said.

Two giant garage doors will be installed to connect the interior with an outdoor patio, Nissen said.

Patrons on the patio will enjoy unobstructed sight lines to the 20-foot-by-24-foot stage, which will have a giant projection screen above it, Cox said.

Standing capacity of the venue will be 1,500, while banquet seating capacity should be roughly 700, Rickord said.

Rickord said 11 Eleven Lyceum may offer reserved VIP seating on elevated couches for a steep additional fee at some events, an amenity inspired by Las Vegas.

“Jason has mentioned Caesars (Palace) several times,” Cox said.

Events scheduled thus far – in addition to the Phunk-n-Ink Tattoo and Music Festival – include the 98.9 The Bear Rock Girl Gala on May 10, Riding for Wishes on June 16, a Wounded Warrior ride on Aug. 18, and Friday Bike Nights, featuring local musicians from May to July, Rickord said.

11 Eleven Lyceum seems prepared to host almost any event that doesn’t clash with its leather, tobacco and burgundy design aesthetic.

“Jason has been talking about boxing,” Nissen said

Steve Penhollow is an arts and entertainment writer for The Journal Gazette. His column appears Sundays. He appears Fridays on WPTA-TV, Channel 21, WISE-TV, Channel 33, and WBYR, 98.9 FM to talk about area happenings. Email him at A Facebook page for “Rants & Raves” can be accessed at