This June, the Lost Dog Café opened the doors to the Lost Dog Lounge. It’s an addition that’s sure to provide new entertainment and nightlife options for the Downtown restaurant.
As a continuation of its parent restaurant, the lounge follows suit with its funky style, casual atmosphere and suitability for any occasion. It places a heavy emphasis on live music and intellectualism, which creates a relaxing yet vivacious environment. This is very much in part due to the Lost Dog Café’s history. Not only is the Lost Dog Lounge a physical extension of the restaurant, but it is also an extension of café co-owners Marie McKenna and Elizabeth Hugh’s original plans for their restaurant.
“We’ve always had this idea because we love music, and we just wanted a place where people could hang out, but we felt limited by space,” McKenna said. “We wanted to go back to our roots when we were a small café.”
McKenna got her wish. The lounge is incredibly spacious, divided into three separate vibes, giving patrons options for how they would like to spend their time there. Situated in the center of the lounge, the bar area triggers the nostalgia a saloon would, but with a modern touch. Dark wooden beams and some standard high tables are contrasted with all-white seating pieces and futuristic lighting.
After ordering one of the 18 craft beers on tap ($3-$6), a specialty cocktail ($6-$8) or maybe just a pineapple juice, patrons can mosey on over to one of the side rooms for live music or intimate conversation.
Several nights each month, the lounge hosts bands from far and wide on their designated stage corner in one of the side rooms. Under 80’s-inspired mirrored chandeliers, patrons can sit at tables and munch on one of Lost Dog Café’s classic appetizers, stand around or dance with minimal room to flail while live music plays.
Like many bars, the lounge also has its staple events. Beginning in October, every Tuesday will be Trivia Night, hosted by McKenna’s son, Ferrell McKenna, a graduate of Cornell University. Every first and third Wednesday of the month is Jazz Jam.
People can bring their instruments and jam with the jazz group, Miles Ahead. Every third Thursday of the month, local favorite Enerjee featuring Anaya D will perform sultry jazz. And every first Tuesday of the month, the lounge hosts an event called “Science Cabaret,” where scholars of any study can lecture on their knowledge in layman’s terms followed with a question-and-answer panel.
While the lounge does not have a bouncer at the door checking IDs, Monica Michaels, a publicist for the lounge, said that the lounge doesn’t want the lounge to attract people who go out for the sake of getting smashed.
“While we want the lounge to be a fun place, it is not meant for rowdy people who are trying to drink cheap beer,” Michaels said. “It is for like-minded people who are interested in arts and culture.”
Emily Skydel, a senior majoring in English, saw a live band play at the lounge over the summer and is not concerned that the lounge’s intentions will be displaced.
“I think it’s setting a new standard for nightlife in Binghamton, and I hope to see more places like it pop,” Skydel said.
Upcoming Events at Lost Dog
Wednesday, Oct. 3 and Tuesday, Oct. 16: Watch the presidential debates at 8 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 11: Watch the vice presidential debates at 8 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 13: Band: Mama’s Black Sheep from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Saturday, Oct. 20: Upstate Rubdown 9-11:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 23 and ongoing dates: Binghamton Cabaret TBD 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 27: Halloween Dance Party 9 p.m.
Correction: Oct. 3, 2012
An article in the Oct. 2, 2012 edition of Pipe Dream about the opening of an expansion to the Lost Dog Café incorrectly identified Monica Michaels as a manager of the Lost Dog. Michaels is actually a publicist.