LEWISTON — It's had many names over the last 14 years — Yesterday's Magic, Club Adrenaline and, most recently, Altera at Club Karma.
Building owner Dennis Anderson said he's ready to give one more name a try: Rondevu.
He is planning the grand opening the three-story nightclub on New Year's Eve, and he's keeping close control over the operation this time.
"I'm trying to create an atmosphere where young 20-year-olds can come and be safe and have fun, but the city won't be breathing down my neck," he said.
Anderson said the club had a soft opening several days ago and will be ready for crowds and business on New Year's Eve.
"We've been fine-tuning things," Anderson said. "But New Year's Eve we'll have plenty of entertainment and things to do, and we will be open."
Anderson, who grew up in Lewiston, purchased the building in the 1990s at an auction.
"When I first bought it, we opened it up as a sports bar with antique memorabilia," he said.
He's since moved to Florida, but kept the property as an investment, renting it to would-be night club operators.
The building is in a difficult place for a night spot. It shares a wall with a senior citizen housing development at the Oak Park Apartments.
That's been the biggest problem for night club operators in the past, according to Lewiston Planning Director Gil Arsenault. If the noise from the club itself wasn't bothering Oak Park residents, rowdy bar patrons leaving the club did.
"People are people," Arsenault said. "If you've been in a noisy environment, you are just loud. It's been a tough nut to crack."
But the club has had problems with the Lewiston police, as well. Police said the club was serving underage drinkers in May 2012 and that bar staff tried to sneak underage girls out the back.
Anderson said that incident was misunderstood. Any underage drinkers had good fake IDs that were difficult for bar staff to catch. The underage girls were being served alcohol by an outside promoter, not bar staff.
"I don't think the building is picked on or it's cursed, but I think people watch it," Anderson said. "I don't think there's an address in Lewiston that's had more words written about it than this one."
All the same, the problems in 2012 convinced Anderson he needed to step in and take over.
"The city has zero tolerance for stupidity, especially there," Anderson said. "There are several things you need to be aware of, like people have to disperse when they leave. They can't stay in front of the old folks' homes, talking."
The club has entirely new staff and some high-tech security equipment that will let security staff and Anderson keep better track of what's going on. There are also new scanners to sort fake IDs from real ones.
"We're going to do everything we can to make sure it doesn't happen — and if one slips through, we want the city to see we've done everything we can," he said.
Patrons are watched carefully, with cameras everywhere. Anderson said that not only will the security staff be monitoring the club, but he'll be able to log on and check on the club from home.
"Plus, the cameras will give us added backup," he said. "If something does happen, we'll have a record, and we'll identify who was involved."
Troublemakers can be banned.
"Nothing against anybody, but the type of people that has been attracted has been rougher," he said. "We want to do what we can to attract a different group. This is a whole new business, and we're going in a whole new direction."