As the night scene in downtown Turlock gets progressively bigger, smaller hotspots are forced to turn people away each weekend.
The Vintage Lounge, a local piano bar, will look to reduce the number of patrons turned away by moving to a more spacious location a few doors down West Main Street.
The Turlock Planning Commission voted unanimously Thursday to grant the Vintage Lounge a conditional use permit that will allow the business to move to the old Fontis Salon & Spa location at 130 W. Main St.. The business is still working with the Turlock Police Department to obtaining a liquor license and both live entertainment and dancing permits.
The new location will feature an outdoor seating area, a full bar, and a dance floor inside the building. According to city staff, the business will not need to build an off-street parking lot, as there is ample public parking in the area.
“We needed to make a move because we’re too busy and having to turn away 30 to 40 people on Saturdays,” said Vintage Lounge manager Joe Morais. “It’s going to add so much more to the downtown area with the bigger building and outdoor area.”
As the Vintage Lounge’s has seen success with recent comedy nights, Morais says he is sure that the new building will help bring more entertainment to the downtown area.
“Our comedy nights are really taking off, so it will be great as far as adding entertainment to Turlock,” said Morais. “It’s a great move for us being down here by Dust Bowl.”
According to Morris, Dust Bowl Brewing Company and the Vintage Lounge piano bar plan to create a partnership between the two businesses that would allow Dust Bowl guests to visit the Vintage Lounge while waiting for their table to be ready.
“We’re going to coincide with them, and they’ll send people to us while they have to wait, and we’ll give them 10% off. Then Dust Bowl will call us and tell us when their table is ready,” said Morais.
The new location will operate from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and would only be open on Sunday and Mondays for special occasions.
Morais told the Planning Commission that the move should be finalized by September.
The Planning Commission approval went smoothly, in stark contrast to the business's initial 2008 approval. At that time, approval was delayed for months after allegations of Turlock City Council corruption arose.
“I’m glad this process is so much more positive than the original,” said Planning Commission Vice Chair Soraya Fregosi. “You’ve run a wonderful business in the past.”