By January 30, 2011 Read More →

Board Meetings with a Twist

The Boardroom I wandered into The Boardroom on a discovery mission. There’s been a sign in the window for months on the corner of 16th and J St. in downtown Modesto and looked to be start and stop construction. My curiosity finally got to me and it was time to see what exactly was going on.

The door was open and there were workers scurrying about as if they were planning on opening this day. The first person I met was Sean Devlin. He welcomed me and introduced himself as the General Manager. Swiftly, he introduced me to Roman Wagner, the owner.

Before I knew it, a tour was in progress. Our first destination was what Roman and Sean believe is the longest seated bar in Modesto. I looked at the bar and about 30 bar stools were waiting to be occupied by thirsty patrons. Next, I was taken to the upstairs bandstand. The stage is easily seen from anywhere in the lounge. Behind is a VIP lounge that could be used as a green room for upcoming entertainment.

This place is awe inspiring. Months of thought and labor had obviously been exhausted into this creation, but why? Wagner must know opening another bar in downtown Modesto couldn’t possibly be a good Idea, right? Wrong! This isn’t another bar according to Wagner, but a vision of a missing element in downtown.

“I like to go out and socialize, but often-times find myself misplaced”, said Wagner. “I’ve had this vision of a downtown meeting place with a fun atmoshphere catering to the working professional with an emphasis on live local bands. We want to create memorable cocktails, and memorable times. We are going to try real hard to provide great service in a comfortable environment.”

During the day, this is a business casual place to enjoy a conversation and your choice of 20 fine beers on tap, a mixed drink or your favorite glass of wine. They have free WiFi and plenty of room to do some paperwork. At night, you can rely on the sounds of live, local music. “We’re going to have live entertainment every night”, said Wagner. “There’s a lot of local talent and we want to showcase that in a place where you will feel safe and have fun”. Wagner has been in the business for many years. As an employee, he was mentored by Dan Costa while spending time at The Creamery and Mallards. “I owe so much to Dan and his wife Denise. Growing up and working with Dan was actually my college career. He taught me everything I know about business”. Wagner also owns P. Wexfords, a popular Irish pub on McHenry Avenue. Asked how he has pulled together The Boardroom with this upscale but comfortable appeal, Wagner immediately deferred to his contractors. “I’ve been surrounded by good people. All of our contractors are local and have taken pride in their trade. I would recommend them for any project. The teamwork is obvious”.

Tom Solomon, of Cosol Commercial Real Estate helped locate the building and according to Wagner it is perfect. “Bob Degrase of L Street Architects put the plans and structural design together. Bob really worked hard and deserves tremendous credit. Once the plans were in place, Western Valley Development was hired as the General Contractor. Tom Cosentino took the reins and put the team together. Tom did a helluva job”, said Wagner.

Eric Layman of Layman Electric took care of the lighting and electrical work. To provide comfort to the patrons, the craftsmen were Eric Fleck and John Harden of DeHart Plumbing and HVAC. The old world texture and drywall work was done by Western Drywall, led by John Shatswell. Oliver Norwood, a master painter and owner of Big Valley Painting, put the final surface touches on and the place looks fabulous! The stained concrete floor with accents of carpet were done by Mike Lawlor of Solid Creations Concrete and Jerry Sheldon of Sheldon Lee Flooring. Wagner stated that the visionary behind the over-all look was Adam Soares of CG Customs. Adam fabricated all the interior work from the entire bar to the booths, tables and artwork. “Where we saw nothing, he created art. Adam took my ideas and ran with them. He brought an immense passion and creativity to the project. No detail was over-looked. All creative credit goes to Adam”.

Outside, The Boardroom looks just as inviting. Tyler Manual of Don’s Mobile Glass transformed the entry and Aaron Soares of S&S Services capped it with the signage. During the whole process, Wagner says his right hand man, loyal and dedicated friend, Ryan “Hondo” Johnson has been the brains and brawn behind the whole operation. “Hondo makes up for all my deficiencies”. Finally, it’s time for you to enjoy this new addition. The Boardroom is open 7 days a week, 11am to close with, nightly live entertainment. Sean Devlin, General Manager, is prepared to provide a classy, happy and fun experience upon every visit. The best of the best! A place where you can rely on top service and entertainment. Wagner says that, “Sean Devlin is entrusted to the complete operation. Sean is a master mixologist and has been perfecting his craft for years. He has a tremendous following and a wealth of experience and flair. We are lucky to have him.”

The Boardroom is located on the corner of 16th and J Streets. Call them at (209) 409-8665

by Wyatt Thomas

Posted in: food & drink

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