Break out the tiki mugs and watch for unexploded bombs. A new bar with a World War II-era theme is about to land: Hangar 101 Bar & Grill, at 7575 West Jewell Avenue in Lakewood.
Those who've been in the area just east of South Wadsworth Boulevard may have noticed the construction mess — or, more recently, the vintage airplane out front that’s a long way from the nearest airport. Hangar 101 is set to open this fall, according to owner Ami Benari, of Zanzibar Billiards Club fame — or perhaps infamy, if you followed the Larimer Street pool hall's appearances on Spike TV's Bar Rescue.
As Benari describes it, Hangar 101 will transport guests to the South Pacific and a nostalgic time of tiki lounges, ramshackle tin huts, airplanes painted with pinup girls, and plane crews drinking and recreating during breaks from harrowing missions. The renovated 15,000-square-foot building, which was previously a bank, will house a large, custom-built bar stocked with 101 beers, including 51 of those on tap, he says. If you like to shoot billiards, there will be twelve tables, six at either end of the bar. Benari knows his pool halls; in addition to Zanzibar, he owns Tarantula Billiards downtown. If bowling is more your thing, Hangar 101 is big enough to fit six lanes under its roof.
Continuing the theme, male servers will wear pilot outfits and female servers will be dressed like pinup girls. Several more airplanes will be suspended from the ceiling, along with an array of airplane motors, propellers and fuel tanks; the interior will also boast corrugated metal siding, thatched huts and nostalgic artwork painted on the walls.
The kitchen opens off the back with a wood-fired pizza oven, which Benari says will turn out nine-inch pizzas with a choice of quality toppings, cooked in a matter of minutes. There will also be other bar favorites, like freshly ground burgers and a selection of popular dishes from the Mediterranean region.
Look for this hangar to open in October — and watch out for low-flying aircraft.