The new kid on the block is the pet project of Todd Milner, Chuck Belden and Glenn Chickerings, often espied at The Club. Located where the old Club Chelsea used to be, they’ve given the place a complete face lift.
“We’ve brightened up the colors and turned up the volume,” said Belden.
“I think that Vail’s bar scene needs some revitalization and it’s good to have new exciting bars to come in,” said Milner.
It’s Fun Bar without the “n,” as they desired a trendier-sounding name. The floors and walls have all been painted in exuberant colors and patterns by Britten Roetzel. From urban graffiti in the dance club to layer upon layer of reds – what else – The Red Room, the painting in each room has a personality all its own.
The centerpiece of the main bar – the first room people enter – is a classic ’50s-style Rock-ola jukebox. It resembles a large rainbow. The “Rock-ola bubbler” runs up and down the machine, a clear tube that pipes bubbling colors from one end of the box to the other. It’s filled with a variety of music, from Widespread Panic to 311, Metallica to Grateful Dead, Jack Johnson to U2. The house music will be automatically overridden by the jukebox every time someone plays a song. (Cost is $1 for 3 plays, $2 for 7 and $5 for 18.)
“I love the interactive nature of a jukebox,” said Belden.
The Red Room is a classic nook for lovers wanting a cozy place to sit. Over-the-top decor fills the small room, including two large leopard-skin chairs made in the shape of high heel shoes. A red brocade couch with a multitude of small, fussy pillows sits next to a table, bedecked with swinging crystals. It feels like a boudoir.
“The Red Room is definitely my favorite,” said Chickerings. “At first we didn’t know what to do with the space. We even thought about making it an office or storage space, but we found a contractor who helped us work it out.”
No dance club is complete without a glittering disco ball, and Fubar’s dance room is no different. But artist Roetzel upped the ante with the floor, which includes thousands of tiny, glow-in-the-dark stars and swirls of paint. The walls have painted patterns that show up under the black light, and the DJ area is covered in urban graffiti. There’s a full-service bar in the back of the room.
A stripper’s pole goes from floor to ceiling. Milner says it’s not for actual strippers, just for “wanna-bes.”
“We’re not going to make it for women only, but there is a weight limit,” said Milner, trying not to laugh.
The fourth room is a den, with two TVs, a Foosball table and a couple of seating areas. Belden believes the four atmospheres will be a major draw for folks.
“That’s our strongest aspect,” he said. “We can cater to every different type of person. People who want to rage can rage. Others who want a chill-out feel can have it. You want to get crazy, get up and walk 10 feet.”
Milner owns The Club; Belden and Chickerings both work there. Will it be odd for Milner to co-own a business with his employees?
“I’m thrilled at the opportunity to do it,” said Milner. “Glenn has been working for me at The Club for 12 years. Chuck has been there for years, too. They’ve both done really good stuff.”
“I’m pretty excited,” said Chickerings. “This is something new for me. I think it’s the perfect complement to the bar next door.”
Because the two clubs are so close to each other, they’ll be able to keep tabs on both places fairly easily.
“I think people tend to lose their inhibitions at the Club,” said Belden. “Over here, we’re a step up from The Club. It’s roughly the same atmosphere, but a classy belligerence. Definitely a place where as long as you’re not breaking it, anything goes – but it’s a nicer place. We don’t believe in putting restraints on people’s fun.”
Fubar opens tonight at 8. They will be distributing cards to locals who want to get in free for the season. Fubar is located on upper Bridge Street.
Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.
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