Belvederes Is BACK!
It’s been a while since Belvedere’s was the cornerstone of the Lawrenceville hipster scene. It attracted curious tourists and comfortable locals due to its shameless brand of good-time, laid back party vibes. Once the Belvederes family recovered from their initial loss, which was caused by a spontaneous kitchen fire, they knew it was time to rebuild. Many employees took temporary gigs at other spots around town that were willing and able to lend them a helping hand. Some fled to other cities to do good things, such as fight wildfires – an ironic, yet fitting path for this admirable group. But rebuild, they did. It might have taken much longer than anticipated, but despite the various bumps in the road, they got it done, and now is the time to rejoice and celebrate, because Belvedere’s is BACK! The hole in our hearts that its absence has left can now be filled with the crust of spilled beers, cig butts and regrettable 80s night hookups once again.
You might be wondering what has changed and what hasn’t about the remodeled space. Good thing we got the deets from Joy, Belvedere’s main mang. Many people are concerned the bar will have lost its gritty charm with the revamp. Rest assured it has not. Joy states:
Sixteen months was a long time and it definitely took longer due to circumstances beyond our control. However, what most people don’t understand is, it was almost a complete rebuild. Higher ceilings, drywall, front bar redesign; It’s definitely nicer. Kevin actually built the back bar by hand and it’s big, woody and beautiful, and we didn’t find it in the trash like the last one. If it looks too nice we will just turn out all the lights, but I think we maintained a mellow approach to the update. I believe we can still hold title for the “ultra dive”. We couldn’t recreate that 100 year old Belve-funk smell. So, we are counting on everyone to dance, drink, sweat, make some Belvie-babies; really bring that old feel back.
We have considered changing things up completely but our family really wants to continue with some of the basic hits so, 80s will continue on Thursdays, and 90s will hit twice a month. We don’t currently have anything not returning but also will be adding more. It’s possible that events that were monthly will now take place every other month. Much has changed, so we need to see what the new heads look at and love too.
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of the remodel is the bar’s increased capacity. If you recall, the city cracked down pretty hard on the Lawrenceville bar scene and often raided spots to see if they were complying with the fire code. This meant Belvedere’s could only let in 200 folks on any given night, an unfortunate circumstance considering the largeness of the space. Their capacity has now increased to 320, which means 60% more sexy ass mofos to court at the bar.
Smoking rules will continue to be enforced as they were, with back-bar only smoking taking place during events. “There are new smoke eaters and higher ceilings so it will be drastically different in regards to how you smell in the morning,” Joy states. Food will also be returning, but in a smaller capacity until they get back on their feet operationally.
As for the grand re-opening, expect a series of parties! The schedule includes a Grand Opening Dance Party on Friday, May 20 with a mix of veteran Belvederes DJs and some from their new programming. The following night, Saturday, May 21, 90s night returns. A “list only” appreciation night will be held May 25 as a “thank you” for anyone who has helped out during this time of crisis and rebuilding, and the week concludes with a Down & Derby anniversary party.
We always felt that our team created an atmosphere in which people could relax, laugh, and have fun. Time may have passed and the building itself may have some changes, but the driving force behind our vibe has always been our team and our big extended family that comes to hang with us.
We can’t wait to hang at Belves again! Welcome back, fam!