Seems like you can’t have a Granite Park nightclub opening without a little bit of 11th hour chaos.
Here’s the news from The Bee’s Jim Guy:
A new nightclub in the troubled Granite Park development will go ahead with its debut tonight despite a bungled attempt to firebomb the building this morning.
Club Rome, which is opening at the site of the failed Cabo Wabo and The Edge nightclubs in east-central Fresno, was the target of an arson attempt about 4 a.m. this morning, according to the Fresno Fire Department. Firefighters found flames at the front of the building and heavy smoke inside.
Club Rome employees were cleaning up damage this morning and entertainment director Lewis Everk said damage was minimal.
“The fire did not stop us,” he said.
CBS 47 was also live on the scene this morning and, in an interview, Everk promised nationally known celebrities would attend the opening tonight, but didn’t name names. Speculation online has ranged from the cast of “Jersey Shore” to cast-offs from the “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.” (47′s Facebook page has a good thread on the celeb angle). Club Rome has booked globetrotting DJ Chris Garcia as its opening night music guest and has Fabian Archie on Saturday. Cover is $10, $20 for VIP — and for what it’s worth, the club looked pretty nice in 47′s live shots.
I’ve tried to get more of the back story on the club’s ownership and its plans past this weekend, but my questions have gone unanswered by Everk. In a CBS 47 story earlier this week, Everk wouldn’t name the owners of the club. This new regime, however, has a long way to go before it reaches the chaos of the previous two nightclubs in that space.
Club Rome’s predecessor, The Edge, barely got its doors open. It didn’t have a liquor license and ended up only being open for one night. Owner Kirk Vartanian got arrested the next weekend and we never heard about The Edge again.
Cabo Wabo, meanwhile, had an even messier history. It took many delays for the club to finally open, and there was much hubbub about when namesake Sammy Hagar would show up. Eventually, the relationship between Hagar and developer Milt Barbis soured and Cabo Wabo closed after just a few months. Later, the two sides sued each other.
By contrast, a fire that caused small damage at Club Rome isn’t THAT big of a deal. But it does seem to lend a bit of credence to anybody who believes Granite Park and that nightclub in particular are “cursed.”