Local Business

Published on August 24th, 2016 | by Brittain Thompson


The Summit Lodge Bar Opening Soon in Burgundy Room Location

After serving Oxford for 18 years, the Burgundy Room locked its doors for the last time. The bar will reopen as The Summit, a lodge themed bar that features a massive White Oak bar top, under the same management.

Owner Jim Bulian talked with us regarding what inspired the change and how the process has gone.

“Burgundy Room opened 18 years ago,” said Bulian. “If we were to upgrade it, there wouldn’t be much that we could do to make it look different.”

IMG_7510 webSo, he set out to redesign the space above Old Venice, starting with removing as many rough edges as he could.

“It’s going to be a lot cleaner,” said Bulian. “We use to have the sound system exposed and you could see the DVR was up high on a column. There were TV cables hanging, we’ve got all that centralized in an office now. It’s going to look more contemporary.”

Bulian’s Business partner David Buescher suggested they hire a designer, though Bulian was initially set on handling that aspect himself.

“I found someone locally, Beth Mckey,” said Bulian. “She was actually one of the first five people we hired when Old Venice first opened. She moved off and got married after college before coming back to Oxford. She lived [in Seattle], so she had that ideal.”

Aside from bringing “a lot of great ideas to the table,” her son also now works at Old Venice.

“It’s our first ever generational hire we’ve had, so that’s pretty cool,” said Bulian.

With the redesign almost over, there’s no doubt in Bulian’s mind as to whether he made the right choice.

“I’m so glad that I chose to bring her on,” said Bulian. “It wouldn’t be half as awesome as it is now. She really dug down deep and came up with a lot of great ideas.”

IMG_7503 webOne of the bigger ideas they pulled together was lining the wall of the entryway with aspen trees.

“We’re going to have an aspen tree wall,” said Bulian. “We’re going to anchor them from the ceiling and line the whole wall.”

The Balcony that many know so well will also be undergoing a slight change.

“It’s going to look like a backyard,” said Bulian. “I’m putting down AstroTurf.”

As well as updating the walls and floor, The Summit will be getting an update to the ceiling.

“We exposed the rafters,” said Bulian. “When we did that we found out that they were still charred from the Civil War when the building was burned down. They asked if I wanted to paint over it…but you can’t do that. That’s part of the story.”

The ceiling above the rafters was sprayed with insulation foam and will be painted blue to mimic the sky.

With all the changes being made, Bulian assures that his loyal customers will still be welcome and that a few of their specials will return as well.

“We’re definitely gonna keep the ‘Tini Tuesdays, Whiskey Wednesdays, Ladies Night,” said Bulian. “We’re talking about doing a $10 bottomless Mimosa and Bloody Mary.”

While they will be keeping the The Horn of Enchantment, The Summit will also debut the Shotski. Bulian was polite enough to explain exactly what that will be.

“It’s an actual ski that has four shots on it,” said Bulian. “So you and your friends take it at the same time.”

While the look has changed and the name is different, it was made clear that one aspect had remained exactly the same.

“The Burgundy Room was open to everyone,” said Bulian. “It’s the same here, we cater to all.” The Local Voice Ligature

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About the Author

Brittain was an associate editor of The Local Voice from 2015-2018, ex-journalism student, and bad noise maker from the highway town of Brandon, Mississippi.

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