I have two memories of Revolution Room that will stay with me forever. The first hearkens back to my college days, when we celebrated a friend’s 21st birthday with a round of Four Horsemen shots that stayed in the birthday girl’s system for approximately 45 seconds before she threw up all over our table and proceeded to sloppily dance in the back room. The second most vivid memory comes years later when another pal wanted to revisit the bar and the DJ played Ginuwine’s “Pony” no less than four times in the span of an hour.
But that was ages ago. This time last year, Revolution Room had seen its fair share of parking lot altercations. So much so, that then-owner Lee Beekly (also of Taco Garage and Rebar) decided to give his eight-year-old establishment a makeover.
Revolution Room dropped the dance culture/cover rock it was known for and in its place came Leon, a country-esque bar that played homage to Beekly’s grandfather, a geologist who spent his career traipsing through South America and Europe on horseback. That experiment lasted through November 2013 before Beekly decided to cut his losses and close the doors.
It was hard to pinpoint the reasons why Leon didn’t click with bar-goers. The space had been spruced up inside and out, a spacious outdoor bar was added along with wooden picnic tables and rock and country music took the place of grind-happy DJs. But maybe patrons really did want to get their dance on?
Enter Eddie Kaufman, co-proprietor of Retox Bar on Patricia who took over the space this spring. The country essence still lingers, but the old Rev Room is slowly coming back, as Kaufman intended with an anything-goes, “everyone has a good time” attitude, according to the bar’s website.
Each room has gotten a bit of a facelift. The Pub, or first portion of the bar, holds pool tables, a stage for live music, darts, a small lounge, Pac Man and an electronic Jukebox that was cranking out country crooners, hard rock, pop and R&B. Within the span of my visit, Tenacious D, Nine Inch Nails, Usher and the Killers (Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” came on briefly before the bartender turned off the speakers in protest) played throughout the bar.
The bar’s backroom has turned into the End of the Line Club, where Top 40 and dance jams reign once again on weekends, but the area was fenced off during this particular evening. The main patio out front, well lit and cool once the sun goes down, is juxtaposed against the Broadway traffic, but probably makes for a fun hang as you watch patrons make their way across the busy intersection on Friday and Saturday nights (why isn’t there a stop light or crosswalk between these joints?).
The beer selection isn’t going to blow anyone’s socks off (you’ve got Missions Untapped next door for that), but you’ll find big names on draft as well as several Shiner varieties available. Liquor options include top shelf varieties, and themed specials include Whiskey Wednesdays with discounts on Jack Daniels, Crown, Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam and Fireball. You’ll find the usual draft beer nights on Monday, $3 you-call-its on Tuesday and karaoke on Thursday.
My visit on Wednesday was a fun mix of things—a fluffy and gentle Great Pyrenees pup greeted guests with a friendly nuzzle, a few pairs lingered around the bar in intimate clusters while $3 happy hour came to a close at 9 p.m. Things took an odd turn when the jukebox was turned up to 11 and a small group of dudes started playing Call of Duty on one of the Pub’s flat screens, a far cry from puking 21-year-olds, but I won’t argue with the accompanying free Chex Mix.
Is Flynn’s back to its old Rev Room days of debauchery and fun times? Only time will tell, but already the bar is tring to recapture those days past (with little to no Ginuwine).
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