Soccer Mecca Nevada Smiths to Feature Life-Size Projections at New Bar

By Serena Solomon on July 6, 2012 1:17pm 

Two projection screens at Nevada Smiths will measure a massive 18 feet by 10 feet.
Two projection screens at Nevada Smiths will measure a massive 18 feet by 10 feet.
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DNAinfo/Serena Solomon

EAST VILLAGE  — Mammoth projection screens featuring life-sized images of players, a state-of-the-art sound system and even a wine bar are all part of the forthcoming relaunch of popular soccer bar Nevada Smiths.

Owner Paddy McCarthy recently gave DNAinfo a sneak peek of the under-construction space, located on Third Avenue between East 12th and 13th streets, prior to its planned reopening in August.

After closing its original location farther south on Third Avenue in November — and making a temporary home inside music venue Webster Hall — the nearly 20-year-old bar that packs in footie fans year round is priming for its multimillion-dollar reboot.

"I had this vision, and I went through hell [to organize it]," said McCarthy, standing in the bar's soon-to-be-christened VIP room on the venue's third floor. "I kept at it, kept at it —and here we are."

The $3 million project will resurrect Nevada Smiths with three floors plus a mezzanine level that will seat a "couple of hundred people," explained McCarthy, who is still waiting on a final capacity number from the city's Department of Buildings.

The bar will broadcast soccer matches and other sporting events from around the world on 20 plasma televisions scattered throughout the space, as well as a pair of massive projection screens that measure 18 feet by 10 feet.

"It will be the only [television screen] you can see life-sized people on," said McCarthy, boasting that the projection screens are the biggest of any bar in New York City. The screens are so large, in fact, that a crane had to hoist them into the building through a window, with the job requiring an eight-man team.

For McCarthy, the sound system is a huge focus of the new Nevada Smiths because he wants sports fans to hear games crystal clear.

"No matter where you are, there will be speakers everywhere," he said, noting the space will be soundproofed throughout.

McCarthy called on the expertise of sound engineer Daryl Kral, from DK Audio Visual, to do the job.

A crane lifts a huge projection screen into the new Nevada Smiths location.
A crane lifts a huge projection screen into the new Nevada Smiths location.
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Paddy McCarthy

"We are allowing space for customers to talk," said Kral of the system. "Your voice is not competing with the sound system."

Instead of a limited number of larger speakers, Kral has designed the system to include a series of 60 smaller ones so that the bar can have greater control over the sound.

"It is not a massive wall of sound," he noted.

Despite the bar's reputation for attracting a beer-drinking crowd, the new iteration will also appeal to a less sports-oriented crowd, with the basement space featuring fewer televisions and a wine bar.

"I want to make this comfortable as possible," McCarthy said.

Since February, Nevada Smiths has been on the agenda of Community Board 3's liquor license committee only to be withdrawn on numerous occasions due to timing, McCarthy explained.

Last month the committee finally approved its license, but concern over the venue's size forced the full board send the liquor license application back to the committee for further review.

"The fact is, there are so many similar businesses in the area," liquor license committee chairwoman Alexandra Militano told DNAinfo.com New York, using the example of a recently approved liquor license for a two-story restaurant at the corner of East 13th Street and Third Avenue.

Other stipulations, such as the bar's hours of operation, security and sound restrictions were also in need of closer examination, Militano said.

The lawyer representing Nevada Smiths on its liquor license application did not return calls for comment.

Despite the amped-up sound system, McCarthy — who has taken the apartment directly above the bar — is certain there will be no complaints about noise.

"The main part of the bar is well back," he said, pointing out that the long entrance, to be festooned with about 60 signed sports jerseys, will separate ecstatic fans from the street.

When the bar does open, two security guards will work the location from Sunday to Thursday, with four security staff on Friday and Saturday nights, McCarthy said.

Nevada Smiths is set to appear before CB3's liquor license committee again on July 16.

Nevada Smiths will open its new location in August.
Nevada Smiths will open its new location in August.
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DNAinfo/Serena Solomon

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