Shaw Local News Network
The former Studio 54 disco nightclub in New York City is remembered for being a celebrity hot spot, where one could see anyone from Diana Ross to Andy Warhol on any given night.
The new Studio 64 in the Arcada Theatre building in downtown St. Charles is trying to carve out its own history. Studio 64 is located in the space that previously served as the Arcada Theatre building’s VIP lounge.
“Since we’re on Route 64, we named it Studio 64,” said Ron Onesti, president and founder of Onesti Entertainment, which operates the Arcada Theatre and Club Arcada. “As soon as you walk in, you think you’re in the 1930s, because it was the original speak-easy here in the Arcada Theatre back in the ’30s, and as you walk through the room, it transitions into a ’70s disco.”
Along with being a dance club, Studio 64 has been hosting comedy nights and other events. Onesti said it seems to be well received.
“People are loving it,” Onesti said. “Everybody who sees the room just loves the room. It’s another entertainment venue here in the Arcada building.”
Studio 64 is part of a major renovation of the building that houses the historic theater and its sister operation, Club Arcada. Two new restaurants — Rock ‘N Za and Rock ‘N Ravioli — are expected to open in the next few weeks.
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Rock ‘N Za restaurant will sell wood-fired pizza, salads and Chicago-style hot dogs.
“Rock ‘N Za is open for the most part,” Onesti said. “We’re waiting for some drawings for our permit. It’s literally week to week with that one. It’s only open during shows right now. As soon as we get the pizza thing going, then we’ll be open every day.”
Rock ‘N Ravioli will feature some of Onesti’s homemade recipes, including chicken Vesuvio ravioli and braised beef ravioli. In addition to the two new restaurants, a set of hotel suites also are expected to open in the Arcada Theatre building in the coming weeks.
The Arcadian Suites will contain 11 suites, each with a music theme.
Supply chain issues has been hampering the completion of the renovation project.
“I waited 18 months for one pipe,” Onesti said.
The Arcada Theatre and Club Arcada were able to reopen last year after being closed more than a year because of the pandemic. Onesti said people are even more enthusiastic these days about hearing live music.
“People are actually emotional,” he said. “When they come here and see all the new renovations, they get excited and then they hear the music and they get emotional. And people come early and they don’t want to leave because it’s such an experience.”
The building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, first opened its doors in 1926 and attracted performers such as George Burns and Gracie Allen.