Nightclub Revel 32 Opens in Historic Downtown Poughkeepsie Building | Hudson Valley Events Round-Ups | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
click to enlarge Nightclub Revel 32 Opens in Historic Downtown Poughkeepsie Building
Courtesy of Revel 32
A rendering of Revel 32

Were he alive today, famed local 19th-century architect Arnout Cannon would likely be beaming about the change that’s come to one of the buildings on the street named for him in downtown Poughkeepsie. Built in 1845 as a church and redesigned by Cannon as a Masonic Temple in 1895, the glorious Gilded Age structure at 32 Cannon Street—instantly recognizable by the opulent Grecian columns adorning its facade—was said to have been the architect’s favorite project. But for decades it stood rundown and under-utilized. Recently, however, developers Jim and Gina Sullivan purchased and began renovating the ornate hall and are reopening it as a hip new nightspot and private event facility.

Rechristened Revel 32, the remade venue will pop its champagne cork on November 23 with a swanky-and-celebratory grand opening event dubbed “Reveal: A Dress to Impress Party.”

click to enlarge Nightclub Revel 32 Opens in Historic Downtown Poughkeepsie Building
Courtesy of Revel 32
A rendering of Revel 32

“We’d already opened 40 Cannon [the neighboring former King’s Court Hotel, now a community-oriented rental complex also housing Gallery 40, 1915 Wine Cellar, King’s Court Brewing Co., and Cafe 40 & Co.], in 2018,” says Gina Sullivan, who with Jim bought the building last February and has been leading their firm’s continuing efforts aimed at responsible redevelopment in the district since 2013. “With that turning out so well, we were really concerned about what might happen next door, as far as the possibility of an outside developer coming in and doing something that didn’t fit with the revitalization. We love restoring beautiful old buildings, and we wanted to save it. So we figured this would be the best way to keep it line with what we’d started.”

Although the nearly 200-year-old structure naturally needed some architectural attention when the Sullivans acquired it, its basic bones were stunning. “We’ve tried to keep all of the original fixtures and details intact while modernizing things when necessary,” Gina says. And with 20,000 square feet spread over eight rooms, the ongoing project has certainly kept the couple and their contractors busy. But as the building continues to come back to life, it’s clear from the dazzling results how worthwhile the effort has been.

Each of the lavish, multiuse spaces, with period tin ceilings throughout, has a distinct character: The two-story Grand Ballroom offers seating for 130 or standing room for 430; the Lauren Suite has sweeping city views and is perfect as a bridal suite or intimate dinner party space; the lobby-level 1845 Gathering Room lends itself well to cocktail parties and social happenings; the Downtown Room seats 100 and suits family or corporate gatherings; the Square & Compass balcony lounge boasts a full bar and billiards; and the shimmering crown jewel, Cannon Hall (450 standing or 150 seated), features a removable stage and functions as Revel 32’s main event space.

The owners recently announced their partnership with the Bardavon 1869 Opera House to present concerts and performances in the latter room, the first being the inaugural November 23 party headlined by 12-piece soul band Remember Jones delivering a reimagination of Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black album. “It’s great to see what Jim and Gina are doing to enliven Cannon Street, which has been underdeveloped for decades,” says Chris Silva, the Bardavon’s executive director. “We’re excited to bring our expertise and partner with them on the opening of Revel 32.”

click to enlarge Nightclub Revel 32 Opens in Historic Downtown Poughkeepsie Building
Courtesy of Bardavon
Remember Jones

Other than preserving the edifice as part of the downtown renaissance, the Sullivans didn’t have a clear-cut concept for the project when they began it. “We knew it would be an amazing venue for weddings and corporate and private events, but beyond that we didn’t have any goals in mind,” Gina says. “Every day, though, it seems like we get approached about doing great events. On February 29 we’re hosting a craft beer festival and on March 7 the Bardavon is presenting a Mardi Gras party in Cannon Hall. We’ve also been talking to several organizations about holding charity events here.”

As historic as 32 Cannon Street is, the opening of 32 Revel assures that its history is still being written.

Peter Aaron

Peter Aaron is the arts editor for Chronogram.
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