Nightlife at Ballpark Village is about to undergo its first real shift, according to Stl. Beginning with a soft opening Friday and a full-on launch party Saturday featuring Bravo reality star Lisa Vanderpump (“The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” “Vanderpump Rules”), the second level of Budweiser Brew House will transform from 1876 to Crown Room. Todd Parmelee, regional director of operations for Entertainment Consulting International, which oversees the 7,200-square-foot space, says Crown Room aims to take fun seriously. “We want to be the destination nightlife venue for the people of St. Louis,” Parmelee says. “Crown Room is being created for that nightlife experience with a wide demo, and by that I mean with the music, the cocktails and the atmosphere. As long as you are 21 or over, we will meet your needs.”
Crown Room is being described not as a nightclub but as a “party bar.” “It’s a social, party atmosphere with the amenities of a nightclub,” Parmelee says. “You can get bottle service and a VIP component and the feel of a nightclub.” The desire was to make Crown Room a “one-stop shop,” especially for groups. “With the music and the cocktail offerings, this is the place they need to be, especially after games, though we’re open year-round,” he says. The room previously encompassed three distinct sections — a tavern area, dance floor area with booths and tables, and an elevated VIP area. They will all remain but with some tweaks, mostly in the dance floor area. Rather than having a dedicated dance floor, the idea is for patrons to dance wherever they wish. Tables will cover what was the dance floor.
“We’ve experienced a lot of places where people will dance where they want to dance,” Parmelee says. “We don’t want to tell people where to dance. We don’t want bare space. We’re getting away from that.” Since the Budweiser Brew House opened a year ago, 1876 has struggled to be a nightclub destination. Lou Prazma, manager at Crown Room, says the space tried to find its niche as an EDM club, but “that wasn’t who was coming here. They didn’t know the music. They didn’t know the concept. It was a baseball crowd with jerseys. They want to hear Taylor Swift and Hall and Oates.” “It was frustrating,” Prazma says. “We never had any direction — identity. That’s what this needs. Now with the format change, we should be able to implement that.”
Prazma realized early on last year that Add Mediathe room wasn’t working. “As a DJ, I knew right away, after a few weekends when we’d see 30 people. We knew we weren’t doing the right thing.” Now, rather than the trendy EDM sounds, more familiar sounds by names such as Joan Jett, Bon Jovi, the Killers, Neon Trees, Fall Out Boy, Nicki Minaj and Toto will be heard — sounds Prazma says fall under the format of “open format” DJ’ing. “You may hear a minute and a half of a song and then boom,” he says. “People wanna be surprised. This will take them back to the glory days of partying.” Setting the stage this weekend with an appearance by Vanderpump, Crown Room hopes to book more celebrity hosts in the future. Crown Room will be open Fridays and Saturdays.