Vince Alexander

High Street Grill transformed from a restaurant and is now a “trendy” uptown bar.

The former High Street Grill reopened its doors this past weekend as the newly redesigned Blue Room.

According to Lisa Rhoads, Blue Room general manager, High Street Grill was losing money and customers so the owners decided to shut its doors and revamp the restaurant into a trendy uptown bar.

“The idea was to downsize from High Street Grill while still maintaining similar quality products,” Rhoads said.

Bryan Houser, owner of the Blue Room, said opening weekend went better than expected.

“We had great student reactions over opening weekend,” Houser said. “There was a good turnout of students who were not looking for a crowded bar that just wanted to relax and enjoy a cocktail.”

According to Rhoads, the Blue Room incorporates a blue-themed atmosphere, including blue painted walls and blue mood lighting.

“The atmosphere includes dim lighting, lounge areas, and candlelit cocktail tables that are perfect for dates or groups of friends to sit and converse for hours,” Rhoads said.

Houser said that the Blue Room had live music from the Wade Johnston’s Acoustic Trio Friday night that did very well.

“We had a band come in Friday that everyone seemed to really enjoy,” Houser said. “The environment is different from any other bar Uptown.”

Houser said that the new cocktail list is the best the restaurant has ever had.

“We were really surprised how well the cocktail list went over,” Houser said.

Miami University sophomore Matt Chandler said he enjoyed the Blue Room because it was such a change of pace from other bars uptown.

“You feel very relaxed and comfortable,” Chandler said. “It’s a good place to chill with friends, sit and sip.”

According to Rhoads, the Blue Room’s menu focuses on 11 different types of tapas appetizers as well as spinach and smoke trout dip.

According to Houser, tapas are a small, shared appetizers. Houser also said the bar’s signature smoked chicken on flatbread have had great reactions thus far.

“We tried to cater to customer needs while still gearing the atmosphere as an upscale bar that serves food,” Rhoads said.

Rhoads said the chef of the Blue Room, Joel Parks, is very creative and passionate about his food.

“The head chef is willing to try anything; he is very interested in what people think of his food and wants to make the best dishes possible,” Rhoads said.

Rhoads said the Blue Room is a great place to sit and enjoy a cocktail with friends and talk in a comfortable atmosphere.

“We have five different lounge areas with couches and chairs, and cocktail tables upfront,” Rhoads said.

According to Rhoads, creativity was essential in the transformation of High Street Grill into the Blue Room.

“People only know the bar as High Street Grill so we wanted to maintain some things such as paintings and light fixtures and incorporate them into the Blue Room,” Rhoads said.

According to Rhoads, every Wednesday is “wine down Wednesday” that will include $1 off glasses of wine and appetizers.

Rhoads said the main goal of the Blue Room is to be a place where people can come and enjoy each other’s company over a nice cocktail and appetizer while being in a comfortable atmosphere.

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