The second story King Street watering hole previously known as Upper Deck Tavern and King Street Bait and Tackle has been sold to Recovery Room owner Chris "Boston" DiMattia and will become Bangkok Lounge, a themed karaoke bar.
A little more than year after announcing he would transform the old UDT, King Street Bait and Tackle owner Brian Wolter says he came to the realization that he is "not a bar guy."
Wolter has operated the downstairs space, home of the beloved Gilroy's, at 353 King street for over 20 years. When the Upper Deck closed its doors last February, Wolter decided to give the upstairs a full renovation. He opened King Street Bait and Tackle last summer as a reasonably priced bar that could "serve you two hot dogs and a beer for $5." As the rest of Charleston seemed to be moving toward fancier concepts, Wolter was determined to keep the bar casual and affordable.
King Street Bait and Tackle was doing well, according to Wolter, but after a year in the bar business, he has decided to stick to pizza.
DiMattia and Wolter have been friends for some time, and when Wolter wanted to step away he contacted DiMattia. "He has a good following and I think I made the right choice," says Wolter. "The bar is more his cup of tea."
DiMattia purchased the bar from Wolter earlier this week and his new concept is focused on creating a "fun and safe environment for all."
Bangkok Lounge will be a "seven night a week karaoke bar with different themes each night," says DiMattia. The themes will change, but for an idea, think "country-western, '80s, show tunes."
There will be a small room in the back for private karaoke parties. "Birthday, going away, bachelorette parties are all welcome," says DiMattia.
A couple of nights a week, the karaoke MC will be a drag queen, a twist DiMattia is excited about because "who doesn't want to sing a duet with a drag queen?!"
Matt Lane from Dudley's and Cullen Baney of UDT will be in charge behind the bar. They will be joined by some staff from the Recovery Room and plan on serving a wide variety of hot dogs. DiMattia says he doesn't want to call it a tiki bar, but there will be four frozen drink machines and a signature punch on tap.
Bangkok Lounge plans to open in October.