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April 7, 2003 // UPDATED 10:33 am - April 30, 2007
By: ire's opening re-set for May
ire's opening re-set for May

Despite rumors to the contrary, the owners of Empire still plan to open their GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) nightclub in the Warehouse District. The liquor license application for the club had been held up because one of the club's investors refused to disclose where the club's financing was coming from.

Current owner Livan Calzadilla said that investor is no longer with Empire. "It created a lot of mess for him not to disclose that information. There was really no reason for him to do that," Calzadilla said.

Empire had been scheduled to open in January at 319 1st Ave. N. Now, Calzadilla hopes for a May opening.

According to Calzadilla, Empire will fill a void in the GLBT community for an upscale restaurant and nightclub.

"I think that the GLBT community does not have a place where they can say 'this is our place.' [Empire] is someplace we can go to and not feel ashamed," he said. "Although all the establishments are open to everyone, you have to feel comfortable and welcome for it to be a pleasing event for you."

Empire will be a two-story entertainment venue, with a restaurant and martini lounge on the first floor and nightclub and VIP room on the second floor.

"[The first floor] is basically our courtyard for the building," Calzadilla said. "The courtyard has a water fountain and a 1930s Grand Union Station type feel to it with the lights that fit that era and fans that are very, very neat."

Calzadilla said the second floor is more modern. "The second floor becomes modern art deco," he said.