The RecordBar, 1020 Westport Road, has a new sibling: the MiniBar.
Last autumn, RecordBar owners Steve Tulipana and Shawn Sherrill bought the space occupied by the Gusto lounge at 38th Street and Broadway.
While they were negotiating the lease, Gusto moved into Westport, leaving the owners without a tenant.
No problem. They have since gutted/renovated the place, bathrooms included, and turned it into a club with a retro/travel theme.
The renovation may not be complete for a week or so; nonetheless, the bar will celebrate its grand opening Friday.
“A lot of the details will have this mid-20th century travel theme, back when airports were cool, and air travel was a luxury and train cars were really nice,” Sherrill said.
“We want to create that theme but without getting too campy.”
Some of those details include doors, a bar and barstools that evoke the look of Airstream trailers, airplanes and train coaches. There’s a large mural of a world map on one wall.
Another will feature four or six TV screens that approximate a bank of flight-time screens at the airport.
“One might have music schedules for the RecordBar and Riot Room,” Sherrill said. “The others will have video feeds that have international and travel themes.
“Jim Ligon of Vintage Edison, who makes lights out of all this stuff, is making us pendant lamps out of old globes. And we’ve got these old leather-bound suitcases, and he’s making some recessed lights in those.”
The drink and beer menus will also have an international/travel flavor. There will likely be several daily happy hour specials because “it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere in the world,” Sherrill said, and some of the small bottles served from airplane minibars, from which the club gets its name.
There will be no kitchen but some RecordBar food will be available for heating and serving, Sherrill said.
However, the two venues will not compete directly with each other.
“There will be no live music and no cover charges,” Sherrill said. “We’re trying to create the atmosphere of travel and getting away and enjoying the entire trip.”