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Clarendon Popup Opening Delayed, Could Open Before New Years

After some delays, Clarendon Popup could be hosting live entertainment and dancing in the former Clarendon Ballroom space by the end of December.

The new opening day would be almost exactly one year after the event and nightlife spot at 3185 Wilson Blvd closed after New Year’s Eve in 2019. Owners anticipated the first popup — with a “Winter Wonderland” theme — would open around this time in December, but the holidays have set them back.

“We are aiming to open by the end of the month pending no further delays,” owner Mike Bramson said in an email, adding that the popup has been set back by “typical internal delays, such as equipment arriving on time given the holidays.”

The wonderland theme was originally set to run from mid-December through New Years, with plans to extend it through the winter season “if it was a success,” Bramson said.

“Given the late start it makes sense to continue the theme and give everyone a chance to see all the decorations and experience the space,” he said. “Fortunately, our first popup, Winter Wonderland, is a theme that can be enjoyed throughout the winter.”

Bramson, one of the owners of The Lot, the popular outdoor beer garden a few blocks from the Ballroom, first confirmed the rotating, multilevel popup bar and event venue was coming in October.

On Saturday, the County Board approved Clarendon Popup’s request for a live entertainment and dancing permit. The green light came after county staff voiced their support, albeit with a few conditions.

The County is requiring the owners must abide by all local, state and federal regulations related to COVID-19 and pushing the venue to change the hours of operation, based on input from the Lyon Village and Lyon Park civic associations.

“With adherence to the proposed conditions, staff does not believe that the proposed use permit will cause any undue adverse impacts to the public health, safety or welfare, nor be in conflict with the County’s master plans,” staff said in the report.

Bramson said the popup will indeed follow all federal and state guidelines and recommendations related to the coronavirus.

“One of the biggest appeals of the venue is its size, providing for ample space to social distance,” he said.

The owners requested to operate between 11 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday and Monday. Clarendon Ballroom operated with similar hours.

The Lyon Village Civic Association expressed concerns about the applicant’s proposed hours of live entertainment, especially during weekdays. In response, the County proposed alternative hours of live entertainment and dancing that are similar to neighboring nightlife spots, including Liberty Tavern and Don Tito’s, according to the report.

The new hours, which the owners agreed to, are 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Friday and Saturday, including the eve of all federal holidays.

“We agreed with the hours of operation as they were on par with some of the other businesses around us,” Bramson said. “I’m glad we were able to come to an agreement.”

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