By DALE MADISON
Wilton Drive will soon welcome its newest watering hole, when the Village Pub makes its “rebut” (pronounced “raybyoo,” as in, second debut) during the next few weeks. Business partners Greg Phelps, Mark Byard, Alex Sadeghi, and Jerry Yerich say they plan to revolutionize the bar business.
The owners say they are both intrigued and encouraged by an unexpected occurrence during the construction of the bar (which will be at 2283 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors), was once the location for J.J.’s Otherside and, more recently, The Mix: The contractor discovered that back in the 1970s the bar had been named “The Village Pub.”
“When Mark and I created the name and the logo we had no idea that this was the original name,” said Phelps, a veteran behind a bar for nearly 20 years. “With help of Wilton Manors’ the Grande Dame Diane Cline, we even found photos of the location’s original façade. Diane is helping create our ‘Wilton Manors Wall,’ which will include historic photos, memorabilia, and facts about our great little town,” he adds.
“We will have six separate sound zones that can be independently controlled,” notes Byard about their plans for the interior. “One will be for the sports bar, one on the dance floor, one for the main bar, and the others will be for the outside areas.
If you look at the building from the front you will notice first all new doors. We are also removing the covered windows, and installing what will appear to be garage doors, so that during good weather they will be opened with a slatted air wall inside,” to help regulate sound going onto the Drive. Phelps added that the position of the VJ booth will include a full view of the entire bar, so that the sound and videos can be adjusted at a moment’s notice.
Along with individual video monitors around the bar, there will be a 76-inch screen located at the main bar. “In the center of the main bar will be a retractable stage for performances, so that anyone at any place in the lounge will be able to see from any vantage point,” Phelps explains, adding, “We want to make this a real destination in Wilton Manors.”
Concerning the ever-present Wilton Drive parking issue, Byard says that in addition to a dedicated back lot, “we have already contracted for valet service, so no one will need to worry about getting a ticket or getting towed. We don’t want anyone to worry about that.” Phelps and Byard say they are shooting for an opening before Halloween.
You can view images of the bar construction’s work in progress at villagepubwm.com.