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Boom Boom Room Back at Revamped Dolphin Nightclub

By Paul Biasco | January 21, 2013 3:33pm

LINCOLN PARK — The newest addition to Chicago's electronic music-crazed nightlife scene flipped on its 100,000 watts of sound last weekend at the former space once occupied by Green Dolphin Street.

The owners of the newly named Dolphin, 2200 N. Ashland Ave., pumped more than $1 million into the club over the past year to revamp the club into a high-tech "Disneyland-like experience."

"We are going to do music, and we are going to do it well," said "Just Joey" Swanson, director of operations and music for the new club.

The club is not, however, going to be serving food, as Green Dolphin Street did.

The famed "Boom Boom Room" — which had been Chicago's longest running dance night when it was held at the old Green Dolphin and before that at the Red Dog — reemerged onto the scene Sunday night to a packed crowd of over 800 people.

The dance night, which was a favorite of former Bulls star Dennis Rodman, was held on Monday nights over the past 21 years, but will be moved to Sunday night at its new location.

"It started as this little fledgling night with 100 people," Swanson said. " Now it is just a juggernaut."

Dolphin stepped away from Green Dolphin's past featuring blues and jazz and which was supposed to be reminiscent of a '20s speakeasy.

The new focus is on global house music, especially with Chicago house and Detroit electronic DJs, according to Swanson, who was the creator and host of Sonic Boom on FM radio station Q101.

He has also been the music director of the Boom Boom Room for 16 years.

The revamped 13,000-square-foot club has four distinct rooms with two separate rooms with DJs, the main room, and separate lounge with a number of additional VIP tables.

"Everyone's got their own idea for what it's going to be," Swanson said. "It's sort of a living, breathing thing."

Come spring,  the club will feature a massive outdoor garden space.

International renown DJ duo The Crystal Method kicked off the club's opening on Friday night, and Swanson has a number of top-talent DJs lined up over the next few months including Oscar G (Sunday), Ron Carroll (Jan. 29), Colette (Feb. 3) and Mark Farina on March 10 to celebrate the anniversary of the Boom Boom Room.