Upscale Club Inches Closer to Opening in Suisun

Vallejo Times Herald - July 6, 2009

Demetrius Mance is a man with a vision. Good thing.

When you've sunk a bunch of cash into an empty corner of the downtown Suisun business district, it's a good thing to be positive.

And Mance sees an upscale mostly jazz club featuring top-notch entertainment and equally classy clientele.

"It was a lifetime dream," Mance said of "Dimitri's Lounge by the Bay," a 237-seat venue he hopes to open in August at 700 Main Street.

And the town's excited, said Scott Corey, Suisun City's marketing manager.

"This new club is going to be a major new anchor attraction unlike any other in Solano County," Corey said.

The 3,500 square foot club should complement the city's restaurants, Corey said.

"We expect Suisun City residents will love having this high quality of entertainment right in their own backyard and adopt Dimitri's as one of their favorite places to visit," Corey said.

The club's proposal submitted to the city includes a full service bar and a small kitchen for appetizers.

Mance, an established real estate developer, said he seriously considered getting into the club business 12 years ago at a building down the street he already owned.

"The cost involved wasn't feasible," he said.

Because Mance has been a long-time Fairfield resident, it helped expedite the process in getting "Dimitri's " going, economic downturn be darned, he said.

"The market is tough," Mance admitted. "I'm taking a chance in a high-risk business. But the city is happy I'm doing something upscale. It's going to be a nice, candlelight setting."

Mance, 51, pictures himself as the club's demographics, "though we might have a youth night and not serve alcohol once in a while. We do want a mixed venue and try to take care of everybody."

Though jazz will be "the main focus" of the entertainment, Mance said. Country, salsa and blues will also be part of the recipe.

"We're right in the middle of the Bay Area," Mance said. "People can come here instead of driving to San Francisco or Sacramento."

Jeff Trager, a Green Valley resident involved in every aspect of music for 40 years, appraised the club.

"I think it's great to have a place to go and listen to good quality music on a consistent basis," Trager said. "The key word is 'quality.' I think people will get a taste of seeing and hearing great music."

Solano County residents, added Trager, "are dying to have a place like this. I have talked to a ton of people who feel that way. They say, 'This is great for the community. We have no place to go to listen to music without having to drive a ways."

It will take a bunch of promotion and public relations, Mance said.

"We're not San Francisco. We don't have an abundance of people walking the streets," he said. "I'm thinking every day how to market this."

What Mance can't do, he said, is ignore his wife, Terry. "I do have to make sure I have enough time for my family," Mance said.