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Five15 has long been Metro Detroit’s hub for Drag Queen Bingo entertainment, but its operations are set to expand with the purchase of the neighboring Pronto! Restaurant and Video Bar. Co-owner Gary Baglio said that this deal has been in the works for over a year, and the hope is to turn Five15 into a Royal Oak “entertainment complex.”
“Our space has always been an issue,” Baglio said. “Our shows have been selling out for years and they just keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger. About a little over a year ago, the owners of Pronto! came to me. They were looking to sell and [they asked me] would I be interested in buying out the rest of the lease and the rest of the space from them. Of course, absolutely I wanted to.”
Now with a footprint that spans the entire corner of W 6th Street and S Washington Avenue, the focus will turn to renovations and updates.
“Five15’s vibe is very Palm Springs 1960s lounge decor, and we’re looking to expand that across the entire space,” he said. “In the immediate future, Pronto will be closed and we’ll be using the patio and we’ll be using the outdoor space for outdoor dining.”
That patio is the second-largest in Royal Oak, spanning 2,000 square feet. Baglio said that in the coming months, it will be used to help current Drag Queen Bingo shows adhere to social distancing even better.
“[The novel coronavirus] has impacted us a lot. Mainly, people are fearful of coming out, and I understand that. We have taken extensive precautions here. Number one, we are reducing our capacity by 2/3, so our capacity is 150 people and we only allow about 50 people per show now,” he said. “We also bought a bunch of big planters that divide up the space. … And by moving our shows out to the patio, it would give our guests that extra layer of comfort being outside because people are more apt to do things outside as opposed to doing things indoors.”
Baglio said that soon guests will be able to look forward to an increased menu and even coffee drinks with “a little bit of extra spice.”
“Like a Long Island iced coffee or Bailey’s and coffee. We have a liquor license, so we’ll be able to serve liquor with our coffee drinks as well as sandwiches and things like that,” he said.
In addition, there will be some programming additions that fans will be able to mark on their calendars soon.
“The goal is to be a complex where there are multiple things happening under one roof that you can take advantage of by walking from room to room to room,” Baglio said.
To learn more about Five15, visit its website: Five15.net.