After 10 months and $1.2 million of renovation, the evolution of Chippewa has begun with the opening of the Lodge Bar & Grill. We were there for the "Grand Unveil Gala" Friday night. Photos and video inside.

The 6,000 sq feet of space at 79 W Chippewa was formerly known as the Bayou Nightclub and McMonkeez. But the beautiful, trendy new hangout spot Lodge Bar & Grill is enhancing the Chip Strip experience with it's all-American outdoors themed, bi-level restaurant, bar and gaming areas.

MsJazzyT's The Lodge album on Photobucket

Designer Rohit Kappoor explained that the look and feel of the Lodge was created with the 80's baby in mind. He worked with the lighting designer to establish three distinct entertainment environments for the 30 plus crowd to kick back and relax.

WBLK was treated to a sampling of the Lodge's signature menu that includes a twist on Chicken and Waffles, Venison skewers and a delicious stuffed wild mushroom strudel!

We enjoyed our VIP table in the gaming room, home to the only pool table on the strip. I particularly love the retro television with old school cartoons and sitcoms.

I truly felt like I was out of town with this West Coast lounge experience. I'm sure that once the word gets out about the Lodge and it's upscale setting, people will be lined up at the door when it opens to the public in October.

Special thanks to Annalise for inviting Todd and I to this wonderful event!