May 17, 2007


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New life on Queen City Ave.
Club Axx’s opens in old Empire space
By Erica Febre

In just a few more weeks all evidence of the former Empire Lounge, on Queen City Avenue in Manchester, will disappear as the new owners take down the old sign and put up a own new one reading Club Axx’s.

The new owners, Maria Kokkalis and George Panakis, took over the location almost two months ago. Since they moved in, major changes have occurred.

The nightclub and lounge have a new and clean appearance. The walls have been painted a maroonish color, soon to be trimmed off with a pulse line, matching the club’s logo. The logo will also be painted onto the dance floor, which will be replaced with new flooring. The carpets will be replaced and new TV sets have already been installed along the walls.

“We’re still working on a number of things but, when anyone comes in, you can see the changes inside right away,” Kokkalis said.

The old kitchen was gutted and replaced and Club Axx’s will have a bar menu of its own, including a number of appetizers and snacks.

For many the Empire Lounge was a regular after-work location, according to Kokkalis, and a lot of those customers still frequent the location, despite its new ownership and changes.

“Regardless of the night or the crowd, we do have a lot of regular patrons that carried over from the previous owners,” Kokkalis said.

The main goal at Club Axx’s is to provide a different theme for each night. Currently there are two nightclub themes running, with DJ 9ine, specializing in house and trance, taking Thursday and Saturday nights. On Friday, just like in the club’s former days, DJ Freddy runs a karaoke night.

Every other Saturday is international night, with DJ 9ine on deck. At the moment the focus is on Bosnian music; in a few weeks the music will switch up to represent another form of international music.

“I don’t want people to come in and get sick of the scene. So I’d like it to be a club where it’s a different scene every night. We’re going to keep things classy in here too and avoid the same situations that the location has dealt with in the past,” Kokkalis said.

Although Kokkalis admits that the location isn’t an easy spot to take over, she has high hopes and goals.

Kokkalis and Panakis plan on hosting a grand opening party within a matter of weeks, scheduled around the delivery of the new sign.

Club Axx’s
When: Open seven days a week, from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Where: 140 Queen City Ave., Manchester
For more information: Go to