New club

Willie Mac's Irish Pub and Restaurant in Keene, seen here last year, will soon host a dance club every Friday and Saturday night.

In the absence of a dedicated dance floor in Keene, a Winchester Street bar and eatery is taking up the mantle.

Willie Mac’s Irish Pub and Restaurant will begin using its private, soundproof “Dublin room” as a bass-thumping club starting Friday, July 19, owner Tracy E. Gunn of Munsonville says.

In a nod to its name — and to the rest of the pub’s Irish theme — the room will be transformed into Club Dublin every Friday and Saturday night. Gunn said customers can still reserve the Dublin room for special events at other times during the week.

Gunn said live music at Willie Mac’s will continue on those nights in the front portion of the bar and restaurant while DJHYPE plays in Club Dublin. The DJ used to play at Scores Sports Bar and Grille downtown, and Gunn said she hired him and some of the bartenders who lost their jobs after Scores closed a couple of months ago.

“It’s just an easy add-on,” Gunn said. “We already have the event space, so why not give it a go? And these are people who’ve already been doing it. They’re just doing it someplace else now.”

Noting that there are a couple months before school is back in full swing, Gunn said she’s interested to see if a dance floor is compelling enough to get college students to migrate from Main Street.

“Scores was like a place where people ended their night,” she said. “... But being across town is different. It’s a challenge, too.”

She said she’s researching the possibility of a shuttle system to transport customers to and from downtown, depending on the demand.

There will be no cover charge for Club Dublin’s grand opening weekend. Gunn said she will evaluate if there needs to be a small door fee in the future.

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Sierra Hubbard can be reached at 355-8546 or at Follow her on Twitter at @SierraHubbardKS.