Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Complex Nightclub Opens New Concept Bar

From STLToday.com on February 24, 2009:
"St. Louis has another new place to play it cool.

It’s called Chill, at 3515 Chouteau Avenue in the same building the Complex, a long-running dance club.

Chill is very different than the thumping Complex upstairs.

“While you’re down here, you’re away from all the hoopla,” says Howard Meyer, who owns both spots. “You don’t have to see any of the Complex to come here.”

The quieter Chill, a “happy hour lounge,” has darts, an Internet jukebox, frozen cocktails, cheap drinks, a coffee bar and free happy hour food that includes everything from sloppy Joes to nachos.

It also has a light menu with handcrafted personal pizzas, Big Gus’ pretzels and more.

Chill opened quietly Dec. 29 but has a grand opening scheduled for Monday. The event is a benefit for Stray Rescue of St. Louis.

“It’s going to be huge,” Meyer says. The grand gpening will include free appetizers.

Prior to opening as Chill, the space was Trade, a rock ’n’ roll bar that lasted only a short time last year.

“The space was just sitting, and I said I have too many friends, so I might as well create an environment they could enjoy,” Meyer says.

Chill is being promoted as more mainstream than the Complex, which targets gays and lesbians, including female impersonator shows hosted by Dieta Pepsi on Sunday nights.

“We want a hugely diverse population with husbands and wives, single women and professionals, along with gays and lesbians,” he says. “It’s not about gay or straight. It’s about people.”

Meyer says the Complex has become more diverse over time. He estimates that 50 percent of his staff is straight, and the gay-to-straight breakdown of the crowd at Complex is 60 percent to 40 percent.

Meyer says the Complex is doing well, although the club now operates only Friday through Sunday. It previously was also open on a couple of weeknights.

“We’re doing great, new things to make it better, including theme parties every Friday night for 18-and-up and guest DJs on Saturdays,” he says.

“We’re a destination place, so we have to lure them here and make them stay here and have fun.”

As for that long-running talk that St. Louis University will take over the building housing the Complex and Chill, it remains just that: talk.

“I get calls all the time asking how long are we going to be open, and this has gone on for 15 years,” he says. “But I haven’t seen a check or a contract yet. But everything is for sale for a price. Daddy can always take the children somewhere else.”

Chill is open 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Monday and 4 p.m.-3 a.m. Tuesday-Sunday, with a 4 p.m.-7 p.m. happy hour. There is no cover.

Get more information at www.complexnightclub.com."