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Studio 21 pledges club excitement in B-town
Scott Rocc is the chill guy by the pool table at the bar, the one talking to random people and taking in the atmosphere.
Sipping only the occasional Corona, he recognizes the hole in the Kitsap County late-night scene.
“Bremerton just doesn’t have a good dancing area, per se,” he said. “Most of the bars are sports bars with converted dancing areas by owners trying to maximize the money they are making.”
Studio 21, located at 4111 Wheaton Way, is Rocc’s attempt to reach out to the county’s early 20s demographic. The night lounge opened its doors Wednesday.
“We are trying to bring a little bit of Seattle here,” he said.
Already the owner of Pizza Time in Silverdale, Rocc first began kicking around the idea of a dance club two years ago with Gurdarshan Kaberwall, owner of New Delhi. His vision is nothing exotic.
The food will be standard bar fare, with chicken fingers and french fries.
Top 40 hits will be the sound, even though Rocc describes himself as a big rock-’n’-roll guy.
“Usher is timeless, people still dance to it,” he said. “Nelly’s ‘Hot in Herre,’ everybody knows that song.”
A Kitsap resident since 1992, Rocc, 35, has been industry-hopping for some time now. He owned Port Orchard Wireless for a few years, before the Pizza Time went on the market across the street in 2003. He bought the store and moved out of the cell phone business.
A Pizza Time branch later opened in Silverdale, while the Port Orchard location eventually closed.
Rocc thinks the customer service aspects of these jobs helped him prepare for working at the Studio 21, where he plans to occasionally jump in as a MC.
Working with Kaberwall also helped him with the safety aspects of opening the night lounge; along with New Delhi, he owns the Bremerton and On Your Way taxi services.
As a result, Rocc said, it will be easy for the bar to help people get home safely.
“We want to make sure they return for another party,” Rocc said.
The club, formerly the site of Angel’s Homestyle Buffett, took about five months to renovate.
But most of all, Rocc wants to create a new entertainment destination for Kitsap.
“We just want to create a good, mellow atmosphere where people just want to relax, bring a date, play some pool and have a few drinks,” he said.
Chamber director off to new pursuits
After nine years at the helm, Bremerton Chamber of Commerce Director Silvia Klatman is resigning to pursue new endeavors.
In January, she will begin working in public affairs at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Keyport.
“It’s something I’ve really developed a passion for,” she said. “It is similar to my work at the chamber and uses similar skills.”
Klatman, who made the announcement Dec. 15, has been involved with the chamber for 23 years. Before becoming executive director in August 2000, she worked as operations manager and as a part of the chamber’s economic development council.
She also was a representative to the chamber during her time working with an office equipment business.
She tried to change the chamber’s image to make it more welcoming and to present a unified voice for the business community. Her efforts were focused regionally and with larger organizations.
“We tried to be more light-hearted and it really showed in the attendance at our chamber events,” she said.
Chamber President Steve Green of the Land Title Company commended Klatman for her time heading the chamber.
“We’ve enjoyed working with Silvia and are pleased that she has an opportunity to further her career,” he said in a news release. “We wish her all the best in her new position.”
Resumés for the new chamber director will be accepted from Jan. 4 to 15.
“It’s been quite an exciting and fun-filled opportunity,” she said.
“Business people are good people and creative. I like them.”
– Andy Jones
New Bremerton parking approved
A new parking garage will be built in downtown Bremerton.
The Bremerton City Council approved a contract with Lorax Partners on Dec. 16 to begin construction on a “Park Avenue Plaza Garage,” located on 6th Street and Park Ave.
Funding for the $6.8 million project comes from the state, said Gary Sexton, Bremerton director of economic development.
The garage will hold 200 to 400 automobile spots. Some retail will likely be constructed, while urban housing is also a possibility.
“There’s a multitude of concepts out there that will be decided by the marketplace, not the city,” Sexton said.
The project is stated for completion in April 2011.
– Andy Jones
The Bremerton Area Chamber of Commerce and Puget Sound Energy are offering six scholarships through the 2010 Armed Forces Festival Ambassadors Program.
Participants can join in Kitsap County’s 62nd annual Armed Forces Festival, honoring those serving in the military.
Hopefuls should submit an application (available at www.bremertonchamber.org) along with three letters of recommendation, a copy of their high school transcript and a short essay (150 to 200 words) on “What Freedom Means to Me.”
Applications must be received by the Bremerton Area Chamber of Commerce by 5 p.m. Dec. 29.
Five finalists will be selected to participate in the Armed Forces Festival Ambassadors Program, with activities for self-improvement and community service leading up to three judged events: the personal interview, the social event and the final program.
The final event of the Ambassadors Program will take place at the end of April to kick off the 62nd Annual Armed Forces Festival.
Ambassadors will represent the community in the 62nd Annual Armed Forces Day Parade on May 15, 2010 and at other events throughout the summer.
Scholarships will be awarded, ranging from $100 to $1,500.