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The Spotlight Lounge: bringing nostalgia, music, and food to Casper

Sean Haggerty, Debbie Dallman, Matt Miskimins at the historic bar in the Spotlight Lounge

CASPER, Wyo. — The Spotlight Lounge will be opening at the end of the month. After working to get their liquor license, they are finally ready to open.

Debbie Dalman and her son Matt Miskimins are the entrepreneurs of the new The Spotlight Lounge that will be opening at the historic downtown location of 128 East Second St. This iconic venue and has been a dream of theirs for for over five years.

The building has seen many generations of businesses over the last one hundred years, the most famous being the F. W. Woolworth Company. However, the location has also been in the hands of an old jewelry store, Daddy O’s Chicago Grill, The Jazz Spot and the Downtown Grill and Venue. With all of this history, The Spotlight Lounge is hoping to keep the building as original as possible.

According to Dallman, “A lot of what we want people to know is the nostalgia attached to the building.”

Miskimins continues this with saying that they are excited about “being a part of the historic downtown, and the fact that we are trying to [preserve] the way we inherited it as much as we possibly can. Because people have come through and made changes … what we have inherited, we are trying our darnedest to leave it so that it ties to the history of Casper.”

Stage in progress at Spotlight Lounge.

Dallman and Miskimins also run Sky Terrace at the Natrona County International Airport. They started that business eight years ago, focusing mainly on the music that they were able to bring to the table. They have always offered a space for new performers. They have many stories of young kids playing at Sky Terrace for their first time that are now part of big-name bands. Essentially, their main goal is to continue this and bring that music scene downtown.

The Spotlight Lounge already has their first performance booked for September 10, with the Grease Monkeys rocking the stage. The stage and dance floor makes the venue a perfect place for this kind of vision. The family has always consisted of big music fans, and Dallman and Miskimins both have their own bands. This love of music is what started the business in the first place.

They wanted to provide a place where rock, blues, country, and even metal music could be enjoyed. Their venue will be known for its openness to every kind of music and new performers.

The Spotlight Lounge wants to “contribute to Casper’s music scene,” and continue to add to the life of downtown Casper, especially at night!

They are still working out how the food menu will look, but they have many fascinating ideas that will set them apart from the other restaurants in town including wanting to make gourmet, designer hot dogs. “There are lots of burger places in town. We don’t want to compete with them; we want our own niche.” They will also have other “bar food,” which is planned to include wings and strips. There are also aspirations to be the best salad bar in town. Miskimins saying that Casper has not had a good salad bar downtown since the Wonder Bar closed.

The Spotlight Lounge is family run and family oriented. They will have three generations that are working to make the dream of the restaurant and music venue work. Even when it came time to pick the name for the business, they had a naming party. Charla Burton is thought to have come up with the name “Spotlight Lounge” and everyone immediately said, “that’s it.” Dallman informed Oil City that it fit the theme of highlighting the music scene perfectly.

Reflection in Lou Tauberts shows the Spotlight Lounge is Making progress on their new sign (Brendan LaChance).

Even renovating the building has been a family effort. They have hired people to do the skilled jobs, but other than that it has been a joint effort to paint, rebuild, and put the stage together. They have been working on it since they acquired the building in June and are excited to see it open at the end of August.

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