Loose Goose nightclub opens doors in Follansbee

FOLLANSBEE – Candy Girouard rang in the new year in a big way with the opening of her nightclub, the Loose Goose, at 743 Main St.

Girouard, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native with local ties, said she has heard of how young men and women once frequented several nightclubs along the street and hopes, with other clubs on the street, to make Follansbee the place for young men and women to hang out, particularly on weekends.

Located in the former Eagles Lodge, the club is open from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. Fridays, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays.

Happy hour is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and the kitchen is open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays.

“All of our food is made fresh. Our fries and onion rings are hand-battered and our wings are whole so when you get an order of five, you’re really getting 10,” said Girouard.

The club also offers cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, thick wraps in three varieties – jalapeno cheeseburger, chicken cordon bleu and buffalo chicken – a soup of the day, provolone sticks and fried pickles. The latter is served with the club’s own dipping sauce.

Girouard said the club’s main focus is entertainment. DJ Train (also known as Ben Manypenny) and DJ E (Eric Ensminger) can be found spinning records there on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The sound and light system in the club’s custom-made disc jockey booth installed by Girouard complement the club’s dance floor.

She added she’s booked live bands for the Loose Goose stage each Sunday through March. The lineup includes the Fossils, who will appear there on Feb. 10; Brett Cain, who will perform there on Feb. 17 before returning to the West Coast; and the Next, Feb. 24.

The bands will play from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., with doors to open at 2 p.m. and food served all day.

Girouard added each Wednesday night there will be karaoke led by various guest disc jockeys and Ladies Night, with female guests paying $1 for all draft beer and drinks.

The club also has darts, a pool table and jukebox that can be accessed and played on patron’s cell phones.

Upcoming events include a Zumba fitness nightclub party with Cindy Petri of Cindy’s Fusion Fitness and an “Anti-Valentine’s Day” party, for those who would prefer not to think about the holiday, on Feb. 14.

Girouard said the club will host a benefit for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life later this year, and there are plans for poker runs supporting various causes.

She said the club will have security at the door and encourage patrons to bring a designated driver. The smoke-free club will be open to adults age 21 and older only, Girouard added.

“We want it to be a fun but safe atmosphere,” she said.

A native of Fort Lauderdale, where she was partner at an insurance agency, Girouard worked as a bartender while attending college and always dreamed of having her own bar.

She returned to the Ohio Valley to be closer to her mother, Stephanie Oaks-Wyne, and grandmother, Shirley Oaks, both of Bethany.

Girouard, who is openly gay, said she wanted to dispel any rumor the club is aimed at gay clientele.

“This is not a gay bar. We welcome everybody,” she said.

Steve Dobbs, the club’s bar manager, said Girouard, an Army veteran, has hired several veterans like himself.

Also aiding Girouard is P.J. DiGiacinto, the club’s general manager. A Follansbee native and Wellsburg resident, she began working in restaurants at a young age, serving at various times as a hatcheck girl, waitress and bartender and worked for several years at the former Anchor Room.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com.)