The Whiskey Republic — a new bar replacing the popular Fish Company at 515 South Water St. — will host its first-ever "Brown Night" March 23.
The bar hosted an invitation-only private reception with a performance by the Dropkick Murphys March 14. The following night, the Whiskey Republic had its grand opening with a fundraiser to benefit the Claddagh Fund, a charity founded by Ken Casey, one of the Whiskey Republic co-owners and bassist for the Dropkick Murphys.
Though the bar will not boast Fish Co.'s famed dance floor poles or fish sign outside, Blaine Grinna '11 said he plans to bring students back to the former waterfront hot spot. Grinna organized Brown Nights at Fish Co., and since the bar's closing, he has planned similar nights at Olives on North Main St.
The owners of the Whiskey Republic renovated the interior drastically — there is now a dance floor where the pool table used to be located, Grinna said. Owners also renovated the stage to accommodate live entertainment, extended the bar and installed 20 high-definition televisions, according to a press release from the Regan Communications Group, the public relations firm representing the owners.
The owners — who could not be reached for comment — consist of a group of restaurant proprietors and investors, according to Dan Gouthro, senior account manager at the Regan Group. The owners also manage two popular bars in Boston — Revolution Rock Bar and McGreevy's 3rd Base Saloon, Gouthro said.
"Revolution Rock Bar is one of the best bars in Boston, which definitely gives the owners some credibility," Grinna said.
Students visiting the Whiskey Republic March 23 will be surprised, Grinna said, adding that the bar has a very different feel from that of Fish Co. Despite the venue's significant changes, "the location is the best for a bar in Providence. It's on the river and close to campus. It has so much potential," he said.
Though other bars and clubs have tried to step in as the new Wednesday night destination for Brown students, they have not achieved the same reputation and character that Fish Co. once claimed. "Olives and Colosseum are fun and all that, but it's not the same as Fish Co.," said Beau Martino '13.
Without Fish Co.'s signature pool table, poles and "Fish Piss shots," some students are skeptical of the Whiskey Republic's potential. "I don't think it can replace Fish Co. It seems like it serves a classier demographic than drunk college students," said Harry Samuels '13, who noticed the new bar while running in the area. He added, "from the looks of it on the outside, it doesn't look like a venue that's very conducive to DFMOs: dance floor makeouts."