GALLIPOLIS — The Colony Club conducted its ribbon-cutting and grand opening ceremony Thursday with drinks, food and its prized silver screen.
According to information provided by co-owners — and spouses — Karen and David McCarty, the lounge started as a conversational idea between friends.
“It was really just a group of friends saying that someone should do this,” David said.
David had said he always wanted to own a restaurant that was something more than just a place to eat. He and his wife wanted something unique to bring to downtown Gallipolis and felt the vacant and aging Colony Theater location would be perfect for their new business.
“Everything just started falling into place,” Karen said. “We wanted to offer something to eat, something different — to not just go up in a strip mall and have a little restaurant.”
“We want it to be unique. We want it to be a destination where it’s worthwhile for people to travel to Gallipolis and to the Colony Club,” David said. “Timing seemed right to do something at the location and, honestly, I think the location has dictated what the restaurant will be.”
The screen in the establishment allows patrons to view a variety of shows, from classic movies to sporting events, while enjoying a meal. The restaurant has made every attempt to also provide for a traditional cinema experience with a restaurant seating. Karen and David McCarty also intend to host live entertainment on the club’s stage.
The Colony Club is officially open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday.
“We focus on fresh food, buying fresh ingredients and making as much of the items in-house and daily, as possible,” David said. “Right now, we are featuring a number of dishes, including Asian noodle bowls, mission-style burritos, brick oven artisan pizzas, appetizers, salads and wraps. We’ve added dinner specials such as baked steak, roasted chicken and are working on expanding our menu with other requested items.”
The McCartys anticipate adding Christopher “Jordan” Lear to their staff soon. Lear will be finishing his culinary degree at Hocking College in May.
“Everyone talks about keeping our youth in Gallia County. We are excited to give Jordan this opportunity and have him accept. It fills a need at the Colony Club and helps him pursue his passion for cooking,” David said. “He has a lot of good ideas for new and fresh items for our menu. We purposely wanted to feature dishes that are a little different. We don’t have a lot of restaurants in town, so we wanted to offer a little variety. I think giving people a choice is important.”
Patrons order their food counter-style. They order at a register, pay and then pick up the food when it is ready.
The Colony Theater was first built in 1937 by the Wheeler family as a single-screen movie theater. They operated it until the 1990s. It remained closed until the McCartys began renovations on the club. Some of the original theater decor was retained during the renovation and worked into an updated industrial design.
“I was pretty amazed when David said he wanted to open a business in Gallipolis since he didn’t grow up here,” Karen said. “It’s been exciting to bring such a wonderful place back to life.”
The Colony Club is located at 418 Second Ave. Opening hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Thursday, and 11 a.m through 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The club is also open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Following the Colony Club on Facebook or call (740) 208-5526 for more information.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.