A longtime Lexington nightspot that has shuffled between names and operators is undergoing another change.
The club formerly called Main Street Live, and A1A before that, on Main Street near Midland Avenue will be reopened as Bar Lexington in the coming weeks. That spot was the home of the revival of The Dame music club, which closed this summer, less than a year after it reopened in the location.
Operator J.D. McHargue — who previously ran Blue Moon before selling it this summer, and who ran Breeding's nightclub in the 1980s and early '90s — is overseeing renovations at the venue, which has been closed for several weeks.
"The heating and air didn't work. The beer coolers didn't work. The bathrooms were dirty," he said. "We're putting in a lot of sweat equity."
McHargue said he plans to do things quite a bit differently from the previous operators.
"This is a wonderful-size facility with lots of potential," he said. "It's got a great big patio, a volleyball court and four bars. It just needs an operator who knows how to operate."
To that end, he said, he's aiming for a broader crowd. He said it will still be a place for 21-year-olds, "but I don't want to be pigeonholed as 21 to 25. I want to be 21 to 40.
"I'm not looking for an older audience. I'm looking for a bigger audience."
To that end, he plans to convert the area in front of the concert venue into a lounge. The concert venue in the back will be home to house bands on weekends that specialize in '80s and '90s music.
"The Dame was doing regional and national acts ... but they didn't dive into local mainstream dance bands too much," McHargue said. "I think we'll draw more of a John Q. Public, mainstream dance crowd."
Those dance-oriented nights will be aimed at weekends, and McHargue hopes to eventually bring in bands for other musical niches earlier in the week.
And although the concert area is large, "we're not going to be like Buster's," he said of the 11,000-square-foot revived bar in the Distillery District. "They're a huge place. We're looking more in the range of 200 to 300 people and smaller shows."
Gone will be The Dame's name, too. McHargue said the concert venue will be called The Roxy, and the lounge area will be called The Pussycat Lounge.
Food will return to the venue. Gumbo Ya-Ya will serve its Cajun specialties there.
"It's simple, easy and affordable," McHargue said.