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New bar holds memories from '80s, '90s

  • Chris Gimenez, owner of the Totally Awesome Bar leans against one of his arcade games at his new business. (Josh Galemore/Savannah Morning News)
  • Sign for the Totally Awesome Bar located at 107 B Whitaker Street. (Josh Galemore/Savannah Morning News)
  • Cassette Tapes line the top of the bar at the Totally Awesome Bar. (Josh Galemore/Savannah Morning News)
  • A digital jukebox mounted on the wall of the Totally Awesome Bar. (Josh Galemore/Savannah Morning News)
  • Posters on the walls of the Totally Awesome Bar. (Josh Galemore/Savannah Morning News)

Dig out your leg warmers and grungy plaid, there’s a new bar in town and it’s pretty awesome.

Totally Awesome Bar, located at 107 B Whitaker St., is Savannah’s only theme bar and owner, Chris Gimenez has been working nonstop to make sure the space is as unique as the decades it represents.

“There’s never been anything like this in Savannah... My landlord has been working on the building for two years,” he said of the renovations.

“This basement is over 100 years old and has only ever been used for storage. There were no bathrooms, lights or air conditioning.”

Now, stocked with the six pool tables, retro arcade games, dozens of music and movie posters and a splatter painted floor. Gimenez said the bar simply represents some of his favorite things from his favorite decades.

“I’m 40, so I grew up in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Those were some good times,” he said of the inspiration for the bar.

“I was a huge nerd. I’ve been into computers and gaming my whole life, Mortal Kombat is my favorite game. I have a Mortal Kombat 3 coming soon for the bar.”

On the drink menu, you’ll find things like the Pac-Man, Beetlejuice and the Tart Simpson, a mixture of raspberry vodka, cranberry, lime juice and Sprite.

Gimenez said he’s still putting the final touches on the menu, but even ‘the Book’ will be represented.

“My favorite new one is ‘Midnight in the Garden’-themed,” he said.

Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects, besides a rarely spotted working cigarette machine, is the bar itself, which is covered with more than 500 cassette tapes. Gimenez tracked them down through eBay and various thrift shops.

“We had such a hard time finding these,” he said of the tapes.

Totally Awesome Bar isn’t Gimenez’s first venture into the bar scene, he previously owned Club Retro in Richmond Hill, but always knew he wanted to open a place in downtown Savannah.

“We did OK (in Richmond Hill), but my whole vision initially was opening in downtown Savannah, so finally I had to say, I’m just going to do it,” he said.

Gimenez said owning a bar allows him to meet people from all over the world and pending a few last permits from the city, he plans to have the doors open within the next couple of weeks, transporting customers back in time, letting them enjoy simpler days.

“They will be able to go back in time, ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ style and relive the good ole times,” he said.

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For more information about Totally Awesome Bar, go to www.facebook.com/totallyawesomebar.

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