On Friday, the developers who built Park Street into the city's hottest party spot will celebrate the grand opening of Long Street District in the buildings where they launched their entertainment empire more than a decade ago.
Promoters have hosted several events at the resurrected Long Street space during the past month or so, but club owners have planned large-scale bashes for Friday and Saturday nights.
"We’re still trying to create a safe, fun thing to do Downtown," said Chris Corso, a principal with the CGS Group, which operates the Park Street and Long Street projects. "We’re going to see if we can reinvent it one more time. We think there’s a huge void for people who want to have something more intense [than Park Street]."
Lying dormant or nearly so for several years, the strip at 40-50 E. Long St. includes 24,000 square feet that will be separated into six different clubs. Business partners Corso, Mike Gallicchio and Brian Swanson plan to offer a different feel and unique entertainment in each.
"We’re going to try a huge mix of things down there," Corso explained. "There’s a lot of things that we’ve done in the past -- and, frankly, on Park Street you don’t need to do those things."
Slated to be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, Long Street District will host college nights, reggae parties, rap shows, DJ sets and other events, Corso said.
In a way, Corso and Gallicchio are trying to recreate the success they enjoyed after taking over their first Long Street space more than a decade ago.
In 2000, the pair transformed a former gay bar called The Garage into Fabric. The lounge's rapid success allowed them to expand two years later into surrounding buildings, eventually creating an interconnected, multi-club experience with a different party in every room.
The two sold the six Long Street clubs in 2006 to refocus efforts on Park Street. Under new management, operations slowly faded and lost money. The building was eventually shuttered in May 2010. Corso held the lease on the building, so he was able to take over when the former tenants went belly-up.
In addition to providing a club experience Downtown, Corso said the reason for the return is two-fold. Park Street is thriving at full capacity, and real estate with his name attached to it had become an eye sore.
During the past year, the CGS Group has been working to transform the Long Street buildings, inside and out.
"The beauty of that spot was that you could get so many environments," Corso added. "It was just fun. You got to see a wide range of people."