Downtown Cincinnati's "backstage district" will have a new nightlife offering this winter when Scene opens in the vacant space between the former Bootsy's (currently undergoing a renovation/renaming) and Righteous Room, across from the Aronoff Center for the Arts. Scene's grand opening is scheduled for December 3.
Patrick Dye, a 25-year-old former manager at Black Finn, is one of the club's owners. He said he wanted to conjure the feel of a "New York style lounge" with upscale trappings like bottle service and wine lockers, but still remain affordable.
"I'm keeping it very unique but I'm not going overboard," he said.
The bar will not charge a cover, the kitchen will offer $5 small plates and drinks will be priced beneath other high-end establishments downtown, he said.
A construction crew is working seven days a week to finish substantial improvements to the space in time for the grand opening. Brick walls have been exposed, and soon hardwood floors will be installed and custom-made furniture will arrive. The revamped space will have a DJ booth and the bar itself will have a unique design feature that "will blow people away," Dye said, but he said it would remain a surprise.
Dye got his start in the bar business at the age of eighteen as a promoter in Charlotte, N.C. and he said he was managing a bar before he turned 21. He worked in Charlotte for the parent company of BlackFinn, who moved him to Cincinnati three years ago for that bar's opening. Rather than move to another city to manage another bar for the group, he decided to try his hand at ownership of his own bar and add to Cincinnati's growing nightlife scene.
"They were going to transfer me to another city, but I decided to stay here and do it on my own," he said.
The bar will be a bit of a family affair. Dye's mother - a designer in Charlotte, NC - has designed the space and his uncle is his business partner. The two partners plan to open another bar called Scene in Indianapolis in 18 months, Dye said.
Writer: Henry SweetsPhotography by Henry Sweets