Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Signs in the front of Central Square’s Cantab Lounge hint why people are excited to see it reopen. (Photo: Marc Levy)

The grand opening date of the revamped Cantab Lounge in Central Square has been moved to Dec. 9, an extra week from the expected Dec. 2 reopening date, according to a Wednesday email from Mike Cronin, the bar’s general manager.

The Thursday that it reopens will still feature The Chicken Slacks, the seven-piece band specializing in revue-style soul and funk that held a popular Thursday night residency before the decades-old club was closed and sold.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused but I can assure you it will all be well worth the wait. Any and all delays have been a direct result of us making much-needed updates and repairs to your beloved Cantab,” Cronin told performers and lounge patrons in the email. “I can speak for myself and my team when I say that we are extremely excited to be welcoming you all back in just a few short weeks from now.

The Cantab – established in 1938 and owned by Richard “Fitzy” Fitzgerald for much of the past 50 years – closed in March 2020 with other public venues because of the coronavirus pandemic. On July 19, 2020, Fitzgerald said he was selling, and it looked as though the good times were at an end – until Tim Dibble, a partner in a private equity firm, stepped in to buy and refurbish the joint. 

Cronin has said the Cantab will be familiar but refreshed, with a new floor and paint job but fully updated restrooms. “You’ll walk in and it’s going to be the Cantab that you remember. But you’re going to notice all these little, subtle things – some of them not so subtle, like a nice granite bar top,” he said.

Cantab publicist Joe Viglione posted a surprising tidbit in The Somerville News Weekly on Nov. 30: That Fitzgerald had been bluffing. “[He] had a strategy. Put the club up for sale but kept his options open,” Viglione wrote. “If no buyer arrived, he would continue the rocking blues establishment.”