Chelsea’s Café owner Dave Remmetter and a business partner plan to turn vacant space in Ogden Park Shopping Center on Government Street into a Mid City bar that will double as an Internet radio station.
The Radio Bar is the brainchild of Remmetter and his friend, photographer and regular 225 contributor Brian Baiamonte. It will be a casual pub where patrons have the chance to play the part of DJ, with Radio Bar’s music streaming live via the Internet.
“We’re discussing lots of ideas, like having touring bands come in to do deejay sets and local artists and deejays doing weekly shows,” Baiamonte says. “Things like hosting an open vinyl night and mounting an iPad on the wall for patrons to select songs will give them a real sense of ownership at Radio Bar. It’ll help us to develop a real following.”
Radio Bar would be located near TimeWarp boutique, Bricks & Bombs shop and gallery, and across from the Westmoreland Shopping Center. Baiamonte hopes the venture would bring renewed interest and development to the area.
“The whole concept is that every song played in the bar streams live,” Baiamonte says. “The possibilities are limitless.”
But the Radio Bar may be in for a bureaucratic fight. Before it can open, the building will have to be rezoned from C1 to CAB2, the designation for bars.
Remmetter invited members of the Planning and Zoning Commission as well as officials from several nearby neighborhood associations for a meet-and-greet at Chelsea’s Café last month to explain their plans and to answer any questions.
The Planning Commission last month recommended approving the rezoning request, but the final decision rests with the Metro Council, which is scheduled to decide the matter Oct. 20.
Government red tape and regulation is nothing new to Remmetter. The entrepreneur was the habitual focus of Murphy Painter of the State Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control until Painter’s sudden resignation amid revelations of an investigation into his office.
Remmetter is optimistic about his chances, and he hopes to have the zoning issues cleared and renovations on the 2,400 square-foot bar completed by March 2011, just in time for Mardi Gras.