Damen’s sold, Robby Smink to open “CELEBR8”

“I’m back in the entertainment business where I belong,” says Robby Smink.

He recently announced his purchase of Damen’s Restaurant from Burt Damen, who owned the old Post Office building for 28 years.

“I’m going to use my almost 30 years of experience in the bar/restaurant/entertainment business to give St Marys the entertainment party place it so desperately needs,” he said.

Smink previously owned a string of award-winning video/pinball arcades called Pinball, Video and Crystal Palaces from 1976-1984. He then owned the popular and widely-known London nightclub, the Fabulous Forum, for 17 years.

“I’m glad to be back in the saddle again, being my own boss and doing what I’m best at,” he said.

The new establishment will be called “Celebr8 Sports Salooon & Eatery.” That’s no typo. Smink intends to stand out by adding an extra ‘o’ to his ‘salooon.’ “I noticed several people mispronouncing ‘saloon’ as ‘salon’,” he said. “With three ‘o’s’ I think it will emphasize the “ooon” sound of the word.

“And, if people notice the misspelling, at least people will talk about that,” he said.

As well as being a Sports “Salooon,” he sees Celebr8 as a piano, dance bar and  cocktail lounge.

Smink said he will have special events every night to make it exciting and bring people in. Monday will be Dart League, Tuesday will be Pool League, and Wednesdays will feature dancing and Karaoke. Thursdays  will be a Piano Night, Open Mike and Karaoke.

Friday nights during the hockey season will be ‘Lincolns Night,’ and, for the rest of the year, Golf Night, with dancing and live music. Saturdays will also feature dancing and live music.

On Sunday mornings, they’ll offer breakfast featuring Eggs Benedict, Smink said, adding that Sundays will also be card night and feature games of Euchre, Cribbage, Bridge and more.

“We will also have weekly sports pools on all major sporting events, and we will be videotaping Lincolns games and local sporting events to replay on our big screens,” he said. “If any of these events interest you, please drop in and sign up to participate.”

With two separate but adjoining 60 seat rooms Celebr8 will be able to host multiple functions at the same time.

The current buffet will be moved to the back room and be replaced with a double curved bar with a built in piano, he said. “I’ll rip out the carpet until we hit hardwood and then have it refinished to give the room more of a ‘salooon’ feel,” he said.

“I’ll be the only ‘salooon’ in town with two pool tables, dart boards, golf putting carpet, video games, huge 6’x10′ screens and 10-to-12 58-inch TVs all carrying different sports channels,” said Smink. “I’ve also located the best pinball machine ever made in my opinion. It’s a refurbished 1980 Williams ‘Firepower’ (multi-ball) I found in Festus, Missouri and it’s just like new.”

Smink says he’ll also make his new establishment the home of “roll the dice twice,” a promotion where anytime someone orders a meal they will get two chances to win their entree for free.

Another major change Smink intends to make is removing the building’s red metal awnings. “I’ve seen pictures of the building and it looks much better without them,” he said. “They are for sale if anyone is interested.”

Renovations are ongoing, but Smink intends to initially hold a “soft opening” for 50-60 invited guests to “work out the kinks and get feedback.”

“When we are ready to go, I will have a grand opening party spread out over two nights on a Friday and Saturday.”

Next year, he plans to turn the 20’x70′ flat roof over the back section of the building into the town’s only rooftop patio.

He is currently taking applications for all staff positions especially chefs/cooks, sous chefs, kitchen help, waitresses and bartenders.

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