Blues bar at Ameristar going electronic

Published 11:29 am Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Feb. 3 will not be the day the music dies at Ameristar Casino’s Bottleneck Blues Bar, but it will be the day the music changes from live to recorded.

Live entertainment will move from the blues-themed bar on the second floor to the more spacious Casino Cabaret on the first floor, and the blues bar will be computer-generated with a disc jockey.

Casino officials said a desire for more dance space — and easier access to slot machines — is the reason for the change.

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“We’ve talked to a lot of our guests, and they’re really interested in dancing,” said Lori Burke, public relations manager for Ameristar, noting the 300-seat blues bar’s dance floor as its main attraction.

The Bottleneck Blues Bar is enclosed, while the Cabaret is the open extension of a floor filled with slot machines.

Dance bands such as Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster and Hoosier Daddies will be the blues bar’s final act this month, Burke said.

“We’ve also invested a lot of money in the sound system in the cabaret lounge,” she said.

The new blues bar DJ will play a mix of styles, Burke said.

“We will have R&B, pop, country, blues, different types of music,” Burke said, “And we don’t plan any changes to the decor,” which includes murals and other renderings of such blues icons as B.B. King and Robert Johnson.

The entertainment shift occurs as work continues outside the casino to shore up Ameristar’s flood protection.

Crews expect to complete a 4-foot, steel-and-concrete addition to the existing wall in about three months. The casino remained open during last year’s historic Mississippi River flood.