Rain event venue and bar opening

Tanner Stephenson of Kuru Designs LLC cuts out a template for artwork that will be used on a wall in the courtyard of the new Rain bar and event venue which opens this Saturday.

A new, swanky event venue downtown is poised to give Dothan residents a more upscale nightlife experience.

Chill Lounge owner Fakir Sakir Dogruogullari, better known as Shaq, is hoping Rain will attract people looking for a classy atmosphere for late night entertainment and socializing in contrast to his established nightclub on Foster Street.

“This is not a nightclub,” he said. “We will have small concerts here. We’ll have fire pits outside. We’ll have cookouts. We’re going to do some cigar, some wine tasting, that kind of place.”

Manager Daniel Lewis said the venue is already working in partnership with other local businesses like Humidor Fine Cigars and Gibson Distilling, as well as FitVine Wine, a low-carb wine company based out of California.

“We’ll have cocktail waitresses so you can sit down and people will come to you to serve you,” Lewis said. “We want it to be not just some loud bar you go to and have to stand in line to get drinks. We want it to be a more quiet setting.”

Inside Rain, there are plenty of cozy seating arrangements for intimate gatherings, games, televisions above the bar, a small dance floor and area for a DJ — although Shaq noted the entertainment will not be like his other popular nightclub. It will still be upbeat and fun, but will feature popular music and classics.

The New Orleans-style patio section in the back features more intimate places for sitting, a stage for weekly musical performances, and another bar. There will be access to an adjacent outdoor section for people to have access to local food trucks Shaq plans to contract with shortly.

Shaq said people should come “dressed to impress.” Although there is no official dress code, he hopes that people will come with clean-cut appearances and dress for the occasion.

Cover will only be charged on nights with concerts and special events.

Rain, located inside the old Poplar Head Mule Co. Pub and Grill building on South St. Andrews Street, will open Wednesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. until midnight — possibly later on weekends. It will hold its grand opening Dec. 7 and host the reggae band Horizon from Destin, Florida.

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