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March Madness will welcome The Room

Dan Bischoff, Of the Record staff

Since Konstantine Deslis took ownership of Harry O’s, there has been an attempt to alter its image.

"We’re trying to be known for something we’re not," said Dustin Esson, VIP host and marketing manager. "Our whole goal is to build a reputation and get away from just a club."

The public can get a first glance of this image change March 15 during the NCAA Tournament. As part of the transition, the former Buddha Lounge has seen a makeover and is now simply called "The Room."

The Room will be a non-smoking sports lounge. It features 14 flat-screen TVs and fine dining.

"Ideally, we’ll broadcast every game we can during the tournament," Esson said.

The difference between a sports bar and a sports lounge is with a bar "you get pretzels and a lounge you get shrimp," Deslis said.

Deslis and Esson both say there is a large group of people in Park City who will never go to Harry O’s, but they may come to The Room.

"This is its own identity," Esson said.

The Room also features the Aspen Lounge for people who may want to socialize instead of keeping their eyes pasted to a TV. It’s a polished wood floor room with aspen trees and mirrors in that creates an illusion of an infinite forest behind the partition.

"There’s a lot of flavor and flair and we did it the Park City way," Deslis said.

The Room will also be multifunctional and available for private events. Deslis hopes the NCAA Tournament will be an opportunity to showcase what Harry O’s will become.

"Our goal is to deliver a warm, plush environment," Deslis said. "With everything, we’ve taken it to a high-end and more comfortable for people to be here. It will be a luxurious retreat from Harry O’s, but right next door."

Deslis says Harry O’s will also bring in more eclectic entertainment groups to get away from the idea that it is only a hip-hop club.

"We really want to be versatile in next year with some of the entertainment," Deslis said. "Ultimately, anyone can come here."

He hopes the venue will benefit both tourists and locals alike.

"They can come here and get a taste of Park City and a little taste of the world."

Josh Jensen was hired five months go to manage The Room and Onassis, a restaurant in the bottom of Harry O’s, which will open later this year.

Jensen was hired because he shares Deslis’ vision of the future of Harry O’s.

"In (The Room), there will be a lot of TVs going on and the energy will be very high," Jensen said. "It’s a place where people are not on a dance floor but still in the ambiance of Harry O’s," said Jensen.

With the opening of Onassis and The Room, Jensen says customers will have a myriad of choices. They can choose fine dining or the option of "coming up the stairs to a more relaxed atmosphere and at the end of the night, you can walk into one of the best club venues in the state."

"We’re looking to capture a person’s full entire night, possibly from 7 p.m. to 1 or to 2 a.m. It will be a destination for most people," Jensen said.

Previously, Jensen managed Chimayo Southwestern Restaurant, Bacchus Wine Bar, Ghidotti’s and Hotel Monaco in Salt Lake. He saw a lot of potential with what Harry O’s is trying to do.

"This place has more potential than any other," Jensen said. "The people that I work with are young, ambitious, creative and professional. We see this place as the future of Park City."

Jensen says his duty is to help build Harry O’s from the ground up and please any guests.

"The Room is posh. It can handle some of our highest clientele. My job is to make sure people have an experience of a lifetime and have a desire to come back," Jensen said.

Dru Scheidell will be the executive chef for The Room and Onassis. He spent the last year-and-a-half working for Ritz Carleton in the Cayman Islands. He was tutored under Eric Ripert with the restaurant Le Bernardin in New York. He’s also worked with Stein Eriksen Lodge. He says his training has enabled him to create his own menu.

"I came here so I can do my own food," Scheidell said. "You develop a good style and base, but you don’t get to express yourself under other chefs."

Scheidell has been given complete freedom in the kitchen and he will give a sneak peek of his menu during the NCAA Tournament at The Room. During the games, The Room will serve classic game food like burgers, organic chicken sandwiches and homemade pizzas. Each day, Scheidell will offer Mediterranean specials that will be part of Onassis, like Loup de Mer and Dour ade Royale, which are Greek-style fish.

"Our dishes will be a template of Onassis style," Scheidell said.

Currently, Harry O’s employs about 70 people, when it’s all functional, that number may more than double.

"When fully functional, we will employ more than 200 people," Deslis said. "For us, that excites us, it’s rewarding and it will help the entire community."

Deslis said as Harry O’s becomes even more of a destination venue, it will help restaurants and lodging all over Park City.

"Every day, Park City gets better and better and a more exciting town," Deslis said, "and we like to throw a good party."

The Room at Harry O’s will present March Madness, starting March 15, broadcasting national coverage of the NCAA Tournament on 14 flat-screen TVs. There will be food prepared by chef Dru Scheidell and daily drink specials. For more information, call 655-757.


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