Just a few months after moving out of its downtown Toledo location to make room for a new arena, Club Bijou will reopen tonight in South Toledo.
The nightclub that hosts a diverse array of local and regional musical acts ranging from heavy metal to funk has relocated to 135 S. Byrne Road, just a few miles from the University of Toledo and its thousands of potential club-hopping students.
"That's going to change the whole ball game," said Bijou manager Alli Arras, referring to attracting the younger drinking-age crowd who may not have traveled downtown to a bar.
He said the Bijou is hoping to attract students to its' club nights, the first of which is tonight, on Thursdays and Sundays.
The venue will have a capacity of between 850 and 1,000, a full stage for musical acts and a new sound system, he said, noting that the acoustics will be an improvement over the old club, which had theater seating in an upstairs area and high ceilings.
"The sound in here is going to be much better," Arras said. "Any time you have a theater room, the sound is difficult."
And just as the former Bijou on Superior Street had The Underground, which was a bar within the bar downstairs, the new club will have a separate room with pool tables, a smaller stage and another bar. That room has a capacity of 250 people and includes TVs and a mounted screen for videos.
The first national musical act the club will host is the metal band Mushroomhead on Sept. 1 and more bands will be booked in the near future, Arras said. Local bands are scheduled throughout the rest of August at the club, which will be open Thursdays through Sundays.
The Byrne Road building used to be the home of the country bar Bootleggers, which like the Bijou is owned by Kip Diacou, and the rock club Roxannes. Bootleggers is now at 2518 S. Reynolds Rd.
For more information, go to www.clubbijou.com.