Smile Politely

Sneak Peek at Emerald City Lounge

BuildingWhat is this very unimpressive looking building doing getting a feature? Well, hopefully it will soon be a new bar in town.

Keith Cameron Smith, owner of Cameron’s Catering, needed a bigger kitchen to work in for his company. He and his partner found a building and made an offer on it just last spring. They bought it in May 2009, and were quickly contacted by people interested in leasing the bar area of the building. At first, that seemed like their best choice, as Keith and his partner, Tim Denoyer, had no intentions of owning a bar. Unfortunately, as they began thinking about all the things that would need to be shared between the catering business and the people who leased the bar, there was too much shared space, and suddenly it seemed more complicated than useful.

Keith Cameron SmithTime went on, and they kept thinking about it, as otherwise it would be a lot of wasted space, and finally, it occurred to them that maybe they could kill two birds with one stone. Not only could they have a kitchen to use for the original business, but also they could build a bar lounge up from scratch, and create a place that all of their friends and family would enjoy.

While the name is a shout out to the gay community (look up “Are you a friend of Dorothy?” if you don’t catch the reference), they hope they aren’t immediately labeled as “just a gay bar.” Keith is quick to point out that the idea is more for an inclusive bar where anyone would enjoy hanging out, while being GLBT friendly.

The bar is located just north of University, on First Street, across the street from the police station, at 118 North First Street. It will be 21+ entry, and Keith is hoping for it to be “a little bit 7 Saints, a little bit Soma, a little bit Boltini’s.” He’s open to suggestions for entertainment, and is already looking into live music to feature. He’s also open to DJs, though he’s still working on getting the place put together, construction-wise. Get him talking about different furniture choices and the bar’s color scheme, and you’ll learn that he and his partner have obviously put a lot of thought into ideas for their bar.

Lights and bar

One thing Keith is sure about is that he wants a heavy emphasis on great food. The bar floor plans list plenty of seating, from couches and small coffee tables for those who want to lounge, to walls lined with booths. The building allows an occupancy of 200 people, and the owners are ready to take on a hungry crowd while designing a full menu. After talking with Keith about his plans for daily specials on food and drink, as well as champagne brunch on Sundays, I’m definitely excited to check this place out.

While there have been some delays in construction (aren’t there always?), Tim Denoyer and Keith Cameron Smith are planning on the end of June for opening. The hours will be typical bar hours: opening around 11 a.m. daily, with late closing on the weekends.

Their website is still under construction, but you can keep an eye out for announcements by checking out their Facebook page.

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