That’s a pretty common saying heard among the ranks of teenagers (and adults) in the tri-county region. Two members of the Gallia County business community hope their new venture will give area kids something fun to do in a safe environment.
Gallipolis residents Shayna Chapman and Steve Marxen have joined forces to re-open the Down Under on Court Street in downtown Gallipolis. The once popular eatery has been converted into a lounge and party center by Chapman and Marxen. Marxen said that while the lounge (strictly for adults) will be open Thursday through Sunday, he and Chapman were considering other uses for the facility on its off nights.
“We were just looking for something else to do to use the facility,” he said. “We’re not going to be a restaurant, but we will have catered events in here.”
Chapman said feedback that she has received from area teens indicates that they’re looking for a place to hang out other than the usual haunts.
The Down Under now features a dance floor with a DJ, video games and billiards tables (coming soon). Chapman said they’ll offer snacks, pizza and soda on nights when the facility is open to local teens.
“We just want to give teens a social environment where they can hang out, listen to some music, be with their friends,” Marxen added.
Chapman said the safety of the teens while they are at the facility is a primary concern, which is why a uniformed security officer will be on duty during teen events. Marxen said officers from the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office and the Gallipolis Police Department will provide security. Additionally, six adult chaperones will be in attendance at each teen night event.
“Obviously, we’re trying to make it safe,” Chapman said. “Parents are encouraged to come down and hang out, too; take a look around.”
Chapman said all teens from the tri-county area are welcome at the teen nights.
There is no set schedule as yet for the teen nights, but Chapman and Marxen said they will have a schedule organized in the near future. However, the facility will be open from 6:30-10 p.m. on teen nights
They opened the facility on Tuesday evening for teens, which they promoted through a Facebook page called “The Down Under Party Center Teen Night Page.” Chapman said further information about the teen night will be posted on that page. House rules for those attending teen nights are also posted on the page.
Marxen said they have developed a Facebook page for the lounge portion of the Down Under. It is called “The Down Under Lounge & Party Center” and features information about the facility, including hours of operation.
Marxen said the Down Under is hosting a catered meal, featuring prime rib and snow crab, on New Year’s Eve beginning at 7 p.m. For information, call (740) 446-7885.