Move over, Blizzard (Nemo ... or Charlotte!), the big news on the eve of the big snow is the passing of the city's glitzy nightclub, The Shadow Room, which co-owner David Gere says is closing its doors — at least for now.
Judging from the post on its Facebook page, dozens of Shadow Room regulars were surprised at the news that the city's night time hotspot is closing its doors Thursday, well, in the wee hours of Friday morning.
Gere, who is also a film producer and actor, writes, "The Shadow Room as you know it will close tonight. Nick [Cacaci] and I have decided to reopen in a more dynamic location, so the Shadow Room will rise again in the area very soon!"
Decision time, Gere says, became obvious when the lease, after four years at 170 Main Street in Middletown's Metro Square, became renewable. "Nick and I both agreed we prefer to work with a new landlord in a larger and different space."
Ordinarily, he would have held the closing party on the weekend, but with a blizzard barreling toward Middletown, plans were moved to tonight.
Gere says he doesn't plan to go far. "I'd like to stay on Main Street. I love the street, the dynamics, the energy, the surrounding businesses all inspire me to remain on what I consider to be one of the great main streets anywhere."
Fantastic specials mark the final party, which begins at 8 p.m. Thursday: $2 cocktails, $2 draft beers and $2 Shadow shots.
'Goodfella' Henry Hill, who died last June, would stop by every time he was in Connecticut. It's through Gere that Middletown Patch readers discovered the onetime notorious gangster turned FBI informant was an
Other stars, like R&B singer Drake, musician Lupe Fiasco, hollywood actors Jason and Jeremy London, New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez, pro wrestling icon and actor "Diamond" Dallas Page, pro wrestling legend Tommy Dreamer, UFC legend Ken Shamrock, MLB baseball star Jose Canseco, stopped by over the years.
DJ Kool Herc, who is considered to be an innovator, passed through The Shadow Room's doors and countless comedy shows, film screenings, poetry readings, accoustic and rock shows were held there.
"I never would've imagined that the lounge would become such a hub for artists, musicians, filmmakers, writers, DJs, performers, and the like," Gere says. "So many people are contacting me today, thanking me as they had gotten their start here. We had celebrities walk through the doors, and threw some great events and parties, that were all tremendous fun.
Gere is an artist himself, but it took courage, he says, to hang his own pieces.
"The artwork that sits on our walls was done by me. When we were setting up years ago, I wasn't sure about hanging my art, even though I had been painting all my life. But it just worked, other artists asked to show, and we rotated their work in. That was a really special thing for me when that happened, so many artists had never had a chance to show their work, and they did in the space."
Gere says he's thankful for every single customer who came by, and the city of Middletown for its support and goodwill to The Shadow Room, which despite being a bar, was fortified by the arts.
He's also grateful to Cacaci for his effort and operational detail, key staff Tiffany Amber and Andrea Czentnar, who have been with The Shadow Room from the start.
Plans are for The Shadow Room to return with a renewed concept, along with the same vibe and staff, Gere says. In the meantime, he'll continue with his film career, including his role as producer on "Chilling Visions: The Five Senses of Fear" for the Chiller Channel.
Gere says it's an anthology series for national cable television, and it was shot at The Shadow Room at an incredibly high production value. "I was able to get my staff and many local actors and friends involved," in the show, Gere Says. It airs in April.
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