After years of working in the corporate world, Phil Villotti and Ray Rodriguez took over the former Atrium Bar & Grill at 554 South Broadway, cleaned up the place and are opening it on Thursday, September 29, as The Bar. But it's a very different bar from the Atrium. "It's not that bar anymore at all," Villotti says. "It's not even remotely like that bar. It's clean. It's nice. It's definitely got a warehouse feel to it."
For the last twelve years, the Atrium was a gay bar — but while he and Rodriguez are both gay, Villotti says the Bar won't necessarily be a gay bar. "It's a neighborhood bar for everybody," he says. They're planning to install glass garage doors in front, to let in that neighborhood. And the kitchen will also be feeding locals, with a menu that includes sandwiches and soup.
Look for a grand opening in October. In the meantime, Villotti says, the Bar will have a soft opening to work out the kinks.
Club scout: For the past few months, Jimmy Calanni, owner of the short-lived Chez Cirque Dueling Pianos, has been looking for a new spot for his concept, which just didn't work on the ground floor of a residential building in the Landmark project in Greenwood Village. Now he's settled on a spot at 7939 East Arapahoe Road, not far from the United Artists Greenwood Village Plaza 12 movie theater. Instead of trying to re-create the circus-themed Chez Cirque, though, he's going for a more upscale restaurant/piano bar with dueling pianos on the weekends, when a pianist from out of state will compete with locals. The new spot will have a kitchen — something that Chez Cirque didn't have — preparing an Italian-themed menu featuring pizza, New York deli-style Italian subs and pasta, with customers choosing the sauce and toppings. Calanni hopes to open by mid-November.