Dance club

A bar and a dance club breathe new life into Czech Village

One of the biggest post-flood investments in the Czech Village will open today, in time for the historic district’s biggest annual event.

The Red Baron Bar & Dance Club, 62 16th Ave. SW, opens at 10 a.m. to help kick off the three-day Houby Days festival.

“It was a pretty big job,” said Barbara Kilpatrick of Stark Real Estate in Fairfax, who owns the bar. “From what I’ve seen, it’s definitely worth it.”

In the two years since 8 feet of floodwater raged through the building, the former Czech Quarters Pub has been transformed into a European castle-style club.

Baron Stark, owner of Stark Real Estate and Stark Enterprises, purchased a dozen Czech village properties following the June 2008 flood.

Stark, who spent many sleepless nights finishing the bar, said his investments in the Czech village will be worth an estimated $1.8 million when complete.

The Red Baron represents his greatest work in the village so far, in time and expense, Kilpatrick said.

Kelly Mooney, office manager for Stark Enterprises, said stamped concrete was imported from Chicago for the stone walls and floors.

The restored pressed tin ceiling and torch lighting add to the European castle feel inside. Food, including kids, will be available.

The bar has a dance floor, pool tables and darts machines, which can accommodate nearly 150 people.

10 additional tables dot an outdoor cafe. Up to ten people will be on the payroll, including bartenders, servers and a manager.

The brick red paint on the exterior makes the building easy to find, next to the Kosek Bandstand.

Stark fought early on against rumors that the Red Baron was a strip club or skinhead bar.

World War II memorabilia and Iron Cross symbols decorate the interior, but Stark said the symbols simply reflect his interests as a history buff.

The building itself is of historical interest: the two-story part of the bar was built in the early 20th century and housed various businesses, including a cigar shop and potato chip factory.

Other business owners in the Czech village are eagerly awaiting the opening of the bar.

Deb Christensen, owner of Art 2 M Broidery, 92 16th Ave. SW, and Vice President of the Czech Village Association, discussed Houby Days with Kilpatrick at the bar.

The morels arrived in time for the egg and houby breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and Christensen has his fingers crossed for good weather.

The Red Baron will be another draw for the village, Christensen said.

“People are curious to see the transformation,” she said. “It’s incredible.”

One of the biggest post-flood investments in the Czech Village will open today, in time for the historic district’s biggest annual event.

The Red Baron Bar & Dance Club, 62 16th Ave. SW, opens at 10 a.m. to help kick off the three-day Houby Days festival.

“It was a pretty big job,” said Barbara Kilpatrick of Stark Real Estate in Fairfax, who owns the bar. “From what I’ve seen, it’s definitely worth it.”

In the two years since 8 feet of floodwater raged through the building, the former Czech Quarters Pub has been transformed into a European castle-style club.

Baron Stark, owner of Stark Real Estate and Stark Enterprises, purchased a dozen Czech village properties following the June 2008 flood.

Stark, who spent many sleepless nights finishing the bar, said his investments in the Czech village will have

about

Worth $1.8 million upon completion.

The Red Baron represents his greatest work in the village so far, in time and expense, Kilpatrick said.

Kelly Mooney, office manager for Stark Enterprises, said stamped concrete was imported from Chicago for the stone walls and floors.

The restored pressed tin ceiling and torch lighting add to the European castle feel inside.

Food, including kids, will be available.

The bar has a dance floor, pool tables and darts machines, which can accommodate nearly 150 people.

10 additional tables dot an outdoor cafe. Up to ten people will be on the payroll, including bartenders, servers and a manager.

The brick red paint on the exterior makes the building easy to find, next to the Kosek Bandstand.

Stark fought early on against rumors that the Red Baron was a strip club or skinhead bar.

World War II memorabilia and Iron Cross symbols decorate the interior, but Stark said the symbols simply reflect his interests as a history buff.

The building itself is of historical interest: the two-story part of the bar was built in the early 20th century and housed various businesses, including a cigar shop and potato chip factory.

Other business owners in the Czech village are eagerly awaiting the opening of the bar.

Deb Christensen, owner of Art 2 M Broidery, 92 16th Ave. SW, and Vice President of the Czech Village Association, discussed Houby Days with Kilpatrick at the bar.

The morels arrived in time for the egg and houby breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and Christensen has his fingers crossed for good weather.

The Red Baron will be another draw for the village, Christensen said.

“People are curious to see the transformation,” she said. “It’s incredible.”

Ken Burnell of Cedar Rapids works to secure the brass rail to the bar as the finishing touch at Red Baron Bar & Dance Club, 62 16th Ave. SW, in Czech Village on Thursday, May 13, 2010, in southwest Cedar Rapids. The business will open at 10 a.m. Friday, just in time for Houby Days. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

The Red Baron Bar & Dance Club, 62 16th Ave. SW, at Czech Village on Thursday, May 13, 2010, in southwest Cedar Rapids. The business will open at 10 a.m. Friday, just in time for Houby Days. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)