Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Downtown's first patio bar opens with a party.

Byline: Retail Scene MICHELLE PENTZ Of the Journal

Downtown's renaissance into a major Duke City entertainment center takes a leap forward today with the grand opening of Banana Joe's Sports Bar & Grill on Central between Sixth and Seventh streets.

The Caribbean-theme sports bar uncorks the party at 8 p.m. today and keeps going until closing at 2 a.m. The fest features dueling pianos, live entertainment and specials. The 17,000-square-foot lounge can accommodate 2,000 party goers.

"This is the beginning of the action," said public relations representative Joan Rosley-Griffin of Griffin and Associates. "It's the first major company to open Downtown. And when the upstairs bar opens, it will be Downtown's one and only. We'll see more (openings) over the next six months, but this is the first. …

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