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Gypsy Bar a Recess for the Niche Crowd

Published: Friday, October 5, 2012

Updated: Friday, October 12, 2012 15:10

Gypsy Bar

Tiera Allen

David Anastasi, games manager, setting up the "Redemption Area" in Gypsy Bar

A unique bar concept opens its doors in downtown Phoenix this week. As an addition to Phoenix’s growing nighttime scene, the owner of Lucky Strike Lanes at CityScape announced the opening of his latest venture, Gypsy Bar. With an imagination-packed space, one-of-a-kind live entertainment and a full arcade, the high-end nightclub is unlike anything in the Valley right now.

“We felt that there were some cultural niches that weren’t being filled,” said founder and CEO Steven Foster. “Dance clubs are by definition niche based and a lot of people don’t feel comfortable, but they want to dance.”

The idea was to create a charming place anybody could come. For a year and half, planners worked on the space directly adjacent to Foster’s popular bowling lounge. Although the 10,000 square foot Gypsy Bar is physically connected to Lucky Strike, it has a look and feel of its own.

Gypsy bar is considered a nightclub, but Foster likes to think of it as an intimate dance bar. The space is diverse with an all-white, vintage inspired three-sided island bar that anchors the room, plenty of seating with contemporary sofa sectionals and a 20-plus person community table for large parties or dining off the bar’s full menu, which will feature everything from tacos and hamburgers to lobster and prime rib.

On the other side of the bar is the dance floor, which is surrounded by more sectional sofas and offers guests a whole new level of entertainment. Among the bar’s many focal points is the raised stage and DJ booth flanked by two high-definition video screens and six vignette cut-outs – three on each side of the DJ booth – that will feature go-go dancers, live music, burlesque performers, contortionists and sword swallowers and, possibly, aerial acts.

“You get to dance. You get to watch a show. You get to chill and sit,” Foster said. “It answers a lot of entertainment needs.”

The dance floor is surrounded by a variety of special effect equipment like confetti cannons, CO2, snow and hazer machines.

“We’re saturated with silly stuff,” he adds.

Heading the bar’s entertainment needs is local promoter and pink-haired vixen Jen Deveroux, who for years hosted Valley fashion, music and art events.

“This is my new home,” she said.

One of the first nights that is to be implemented is Peep Me XOXO, a night of live art, bands and DJs, appearances from the Suicide Girls, the Deviltry Dolls and, of course, peep shows.

If this sounds like something out of a wild dream or a carnival that’s because it’s exactly what Foster was going for. And what goes better with a carnival than carnival games?

A vintage light-up sign that reads “Prize Every Time” marks yet another unique component of Gypsy Bar: The fully loaded game lounge features 40 arcade games, including 2 Minute Drill, 2 Fast & Furious, Deal or No Deal, Guitar Hero, NBA Hoops, Pac-Man Battle Royal Deluxe, Super Bikes and Super Cars. The games will be easily accessible through an electronic rechargeable game card that accumulates reward points and can be redeemed for prizes that range from iPods and high-end electronics to Pez dispensers.

During the day, Gypsy Bar is accessible to everyone. Come nighttime, the bar will be 21+.

Upon first impression, the bar’s goals may appear lofty. But with Foster and Deveroux behind it, all doubters should be hushed.

Grand Opening Party, Gypsy Bar, 50 W. Jefferson Street, 602.732.5490, Saturday, October 6, 10 p.m., free

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