Bar Local brings Austin flare to local lounge scene

Bar Local brings Austin flare to local lounge scene

From the good-times team that brought you Goodfella’s and Madison’s comes Beaumont’s latest Frankie Ran­dazzo/Buck Maraist brainchild – Bar Local – now open in the old Pacesetter Lounge at the Colonnade Shopping Center on Phelan Boulevard.

It looks nothing like it did when crowds from the ’90s let loose at the Pacesetter in Beaumont’s West End, but remnants from the longtime staple of Beaumont’s bar scene are still visible all throughout the newest tenant’s floor plan. Parts of the repurposed dance floor now adorn the ceiling and provide a conversation-piece countertop for the 360-degree bar that greets patrons as soon as they enter the door. Kickplates made from beams are now enjoying a second shot at life, as are wooden pal­lets and crates that have been artisti­cally restructured to give the establish­ment a façade reminiscent of Austin’s Sixth Street.

“People didn’t know what to expect when we came in,” Randazzo says.

Those who thought Randazzo and crew would throw up a coat of paint and a new “open” sign were sorely mistaken.

“We gutted it and took it all the way back to the walls,” he said. “People walk in and they don’t see the Pacesetter anymore.”

Aside from recycled artifacts now showcased at Bar Local, the manage­ment team has diligently worked to keep the same atmosphere of locals en­joying life that has always been a sell­ing point of the old Pacesetter.

“The Pacesetter needed some love,” Randazzo says, adding that he is ex­cited to get the opportunity to give the neighborhood bar a facelift. “They have a lot of great customers, a great atmo­sphere. We really wanted to keep the same vibe that was already here, and to keep it a ‘locals’ bar – a place where lo­cals can go to get a good drink.

“We’re not right off the highway, so there’s no tourists coming in. Here, you have to pretty much be from here to know about the place. It’s a local bar, a place where other bartenders come and drink. It’s not some mass-marketed tourist trap.”

Bar Local sports new seating and air conditioning, both problem areas for the old Pacesetter. Randazzo says his mission is to make the bar a comfort­able place for Beaumonters to enjoy a drink or two (or more) and kick back among friends.

“What we’re not going to do here is be real fu-fu. Don’t come here for fu-fu; come here for fun,” he says. What they are going to do, he says, is provide great drinks at a great price. Also, enjoy the “mini-bar” featuring mini-bottle service, old-school ar­cade games including Ms. Pac-Man and Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker, a photo booth, washers, and an outside patio that houses swing seating and a full-size bar. Coming soon, Randazzo anticipates food truck availability and patio service where guests can get a bite to eat before, during and after imbibing on Bar Local’s spirits and beers.

“Here, people are going to have a great time; they’re going to have a great drink, and they’re going to be greeted with a great attitude by our staff,” he said. “Hopefully, it’s a good vibe and people will come and love it.

“We’re going to give the people what they want.”