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Hydrate to Close Sunday for Renovations; Club to Be More Modern, Upscale

By Serena Dai | December 31, 2013 7:02am
 Hydrate Nightclub will close for renovations in early 2014.
Hydrate Nightclub will close for renovations in early 2014.
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BOYSTOWN — Hydrate may soon look a little more modern.

The local nightclub, 3458 N. Halsted St., will close Sunday for a renovation that will revamp everything from the floors to the bathrooms — including adding chandeliers from the former Ambassador West hotel.

It will still be a place with "energy and lights and a lot of fun," said owner Mark Liberson, but it will look completely different.

"I think people will be able to say 'Wow, they spent a lot of money on this'," Liberson said. Or "'Wow, they really invested in the community.'"

Elixir, the bar next door at 3452 N. Halsted St. also owned by Liberson, will be unaffected.

Hydrate opened more than 10 years ago, the first of Liberson's Boystown businesses, which also include Halsted's Bar and Grill and Replay. Now it's time to grow, he said.

Updating the lighting, walls, floors, tiles and exterior will create more of an "upscale feel" in the bar by focusing on design, he said. The sound system will also upgraded to Turbosound in hopes of a cleaner, fuller sound.

But before shutting down for renovations, Hydrate will host two parties to celebrate.

The bar will first host a benefit for TPAN, an HIV non-profit, on Friday, including an underwear fashion show. The $10 minimum donation includes the fashion show an premium cocktails between 9 and 11 p.m.

Then Hydrate's final night Saturday will feature a special Dragilicious Show, including performers Gia Gunn, an upcoming "RuPau's Drag Race" contestant, and Miss Continental Naysha Lopez. The rest of the night will be a "Hard Hats and Sledgehammers"-themed party with music by DJ Ted Eiel.

Liberson hopes to reopen Hydrate in February.

"Hydrate's always had a great energy," Liberson said. "We're very lucky and have appreciated being part of the community for over 10 years now. Our goal is to make sure we're here for another 10."