The bar is co-owned by Dan Nolen and Pam Stallings. Nolen, owner of the Brothers bar in Jacksonville, was managing a band that was booked at the bar, then called the Wooden Nickel (originally The Draught Board). When the band arrived the club was on the verge of closing and Nolen was given the opportunity to take it over. It opened as "The Nick" on June 22, 1982.
Stallings started as a waitress in 1983 and is now the manager, with Nolen booking the acts from his Nolen Reeves Music office in Atlanta. Over the years, The Nick has become a destination for visiting celebrities and has hosted many national acts on their way up, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, 311, Black Flag, Jane's Addiction, the Black Crowes, Widespread Panic and many others. The Nick is known for its shows starting relatively late, at 10:00 PM or later.
- Clemow, Robin (June 21, 2002) "The Nick still rocks: Venue gears up for 20th anniversary party." Birmingham Post-Herald
- Coloruso, Mary (August 31, 2007) "Owners' Nick knack keeps bar hopping for 25 years." The Birmingham News
- Chambers, Jesse (October 7, 2013) "The Nick is 'dark, hugely fun,' and one of the oldest surviving Birmingham bars." The Birmingham News
- Haden, Courtney (November 7, 2013) "A dive of 30 years’ duration." Weld for Birmingham
- Wake, Matt (December 18, 2018) "The Nick: A dangerous history of Alabama’s coolest bar" The Birmingham News
- The Nick website