- Wanda Santos-Bray
- Hector Vega's jazzy Cleveland skyline is one of Bar Flyy's works by local artists.
Investors tapped two of the biggest names in Cleveland entertainment to design and execute Bar Flyy, the fly new club on West Sixth Street, downtown's booming entertainment district. Though the venue will be an independent operation once it opens, it came together through the efforts of Agora founder Henry "Hank" Lo Conti and Gary Bauer, who designed Coconuts, Noisemakers, and the Basement during the glory days of the Flats.
The new two-level bar combines elements of a traditional dance club and the vibe of a martini lounge. "It's a dance club, and it's versatile," says Brian Conti, the club's promotions director, who is also selecting its playlist. "We'll play more or less Top 40, from the '80s on up. Some nights, it will be a lounge. It's a fresh club. It's newly built, so it's unfamiliar territory. It has a different feel, without the pretentiousness some clubs leave you with. You can grab a beer after work or dance up the town on a weekend."
The former Jay Vee clothing store at 1266 West Sixth Street houses the club's upper floor. Its lower level occupies the site of the Sixth Street Under jazz club, a subterranean nightspot in the 1990s. Decorated in soft reds, oranges, and pinks, the upstairs features a fog machine, a metal rack holding nine 42-inch televisions, and artwork by Cleveland artists, including a Hector Vega sculpture of the city's skyline.
A spiraling metal staircase leads from the upstairs dance area to the darker downstairs. At twice the size, the lower level has two bars, exposed brick and stone walls, and a snug back room. The bars serve bottled beer, exotic alcohol, and specialty martinis.
Lo Conti, a 40-year veteran of Cleveland nightlife, was hired to guide the project through the construction process. He says the club will have between 20 and 30 employees and that it's in exactly the right spot.
"I think it's a good place to be," he says. "I think this area can only get bigger. I think it can grow from here to East Ninth. And if they do what they're talking about doing in the Flats, that's even better."
Bar Flyy's grand opening weekend is scheduled for Thursday, June 9, through Saturday, June 11.
· Chimaira has posted the new track "Nothing Remains" on Chimaira.com. It's deadly. The six-minute ripper is from the band's upcoming self-titled LP, which is slated for an August release.
· The glammed-up Cleveland-Youngstown modern-rock band Cherry Monroe will make an in-store appearance at the Chapel Hill FYE (the Chapel Hill Mall, 2000 Brittain Road, Suite 647, Akron), signing its self-titled CD and performing an acoustic set. That night, it'll play WKDD's Summer Concert Kickoff at the Cuyahoga Falls Sheraton Suites (1989 Front Street).
· Want to know what that song on the radio is? WAPS-FM 91.3 the Summit, Akron's adult-alternative eclectic wonderland, now has streaming online information identifying the songs it plays at www.913thesummit.com.
· Balance Record Pool, the dance-music record group that features Cleveland's Deviant and 39 other DJs from across North America, has won the 2005 International Dance Music Awards prize for Best Record Pool. To learn more about Deviant, visit www.headrushmusic.com.
· The Club That Just Wouldn't Die: Capsule has changed hands and changed, but it's not dead. The former indie-techno-garage-noir hang on the West Side is now morphing into an Irish-leaning tavern, and plans to change its name to the Nugent Tabhairne (which is Gaelic for "Nugent's Tavern").