Neonopolis owner and eternal optimist Rohit Joshi has even bigger plans than usual for his downtown venue and he shared some of his ambitious vision with current and future tenants earlier this month. The bold plans include adding new dining, nightclubs, the possibility of gaming and the arrival of the “the BEST Karaoke Bar in the World.”
Already on the horizon is the 54,750-square-foot Notoriety on the third floor. Created by Ken Henderson, CEO of the Best Agency talent company, the former 14-screen movie theater space will be turned into a combination nightlife venue and showcase for performers, comedians, musicians and playwrights. Aiming to support undiscovered talents, Notoriety will be building an on-site recording studio and and hopes to create a “hang” for local entertainers.
With the third floor almost at capacity, the second floor “club district” will host four or five late-night destinations, including the existing bowling, cos-play and video game scene of The Nerd, plus a club tentatively named Embassy. Joshi has also been working with Harry Mohney, founder of gentleman’s clubs such as Déjà Vu Showgirls and Little Darlings about a possible new concept.
Confirmed to be on the way from the French Quarter in New Orleans, the first expansion for the Cat’s Meow karaoke bar, a Bourbon Street favorite for tourists and extroverted celebrities for more than 25 years.
On the ground floor, negotiations continue for a possible wrestling and mixed marital arts-themed sports bar and Joshi confirmed he has conducted serious talks with rock legends Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS to bring their Rock & Brews restaurant chain to Fremont Street. One enticement would be to add gaming to the Rock & Brews bar and Neonopolis is consulting with legal experts about the possibility of securing a gaming license.
While those two projects simmer, chef Beni Velazquez helped create a new food court operated by local food trucks. Downtown coffee experts Maker & Finders opened a kiosk outside Denny’s earlier this week and the first truck to arrive will be Smokin’ Madd BBQ & Grill, serving from a stationary set-up in the outdoor plaza. Smokin’ Madd’s menu has included smoked wings, rib tips and seasoned fries and they are working to be open by the end of the month.
No official announcement of all the changes or arrival timetables for the other newcomers have yet been revealed.