One of the most coveted spots in town has been snatched up. The building at 1446 South Broadway that had been Cafe Cero and then Open Tap will reopen as the Black Crown Lounge late this month. Business partners Mark Cameron and Brian Grace have been busy transforming the space into an authentic piano bar that will have what Cameron describes as an old-world, over-the-top, decadent country club feel. "For some people, it's a little bit much," he says. "But hey, it's fun."
Furnished with a number of items from Grace's personal collection, including quite a few chandeliers, the Black Crown will feel like you're walking into someone's home. Here's a twist, though: Much of the decor will be for sale, and the space will even function as a retail store in the mornings. "I'm not saying there will be price tags hanging from everything," Cameron says. "There will be a discreet way of doing that that will look nice. As we sell things out, we bring in new things, and it helps keep us fresh."
When the lounge opens in the afternoon, though, the focus will shift to music, and the Black Crown will become an authentic piano bar, complete with a Story and Clark baby grand that will act as a player piano when no performer is on duty. Cameron says they're hoping to resurrect the vibe of the old Garbo's, which once occupied the space where Opal is now. "We'll have a big gay following, but we're not billing ourselves as a gay bar," he notes. "The concept is great for anybody. I think the group will be a little older, in the 35-and-up group."
And because of that, the Black Crown will also emphasize service. "You're going to sit down to have a drink, and we're going to bring it to you," Cameron says. "It's much more about being comfortable and waiting on you."
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The Black Crown will serve premium wells, classic cocktails and signature drinks; Cameron says they plan to develop a decent non-alcoholic menu and also start serving small plates. Watch for a grand opening the weekend of July 8.