On Thursday, April 22 the Diller Room, the recently transformed cafe and lounge at 1st and University downtown, is hosting its grand opening party. The ruckus begins at 7pm; two DJs (Victor Menegaux and DJ Riz) have been charged with the music.

I’ve had the occasion to visit the Diller Room several times now. The velvet-and-vinyl vintagey decor, which at first reminded me of the sort of mid-nineties coffeehouse that the kids on Party of Five might flop around in, is starting to work its charm on me.

And while there are several reasons that it doesn’t quite fit my criteria for a proper cocktail lounge, the Diller Room has some important things going for it. It’s a relaxing place to chill out because it feels authentically casual—a rare thing downtown. And it manages to pull of the day-to-night, Eurostyle coffee shop/bar-hybrid thing with classy aplomb. This is not easy to do without appearing affected—it’s the hospitality-biz equivalent of draping a sweater around your shoulders. And while I hope that the wines by the glass are improved upon, I think they’ve made some smartly simple decisions with the food.

Check out the party, see what you think.

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