By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Aug 26, 2004 at 5:43 AM

{image1}David Panek is not afraid of change. Five years ago he opened Club Boom, 625 S. 2nd St., and planned to offer dancing on a small floor. However, when most of his clientele showed up only to dance for a few minutes before going to larger clubs, Panek simply moved in pool tables atop the floor and that was that.

Now, the man who left a 17-year job at Quad Graphics to open a bar has made another major change. He opened another bar.

After buying the building next door, Panek opened The Room, 623 S. 2nd St., and connected it to Boom with a swinging door.

Although very close in proximity to Boom, The Room has a very different feel. (Anyone else hearing the Paul Lekakis song "Boom, boom boom, let's go back to my room?")

"We mixed old world charm with the new," says Panek, 42, who grew up in Hartford.

The Room's tin ceiling appears vintage, but it is actually brand new as is the lit, glass-top bar. The cream city brick, however, is original.

Peter Looman's mural of Milwaukee is a colorful addition to The Room. The piece is 5-by-23-feet and features Milwaukee landmarks such as the art museum, Allen-Bradley clock, US Bank Building, City Hall and more.

Loman is a graphic designer and muralist who says The Room's mural is his largest to date.

The new lounge offers more than 50 kinds of vodka as well as a nice variety of cognacs, champagnes, cocktails, highballs, beers and martinis. There are two flat-screen televisions for Packers season and beyond, and both bars have large, connected patios.

Whereas Boom is pretty much a gay club, The Room is a bit more ambiguous, largely because it appeals to a younger crowd, many of whom are less concerned with labels.

"The younger generation doesn't care (who's gay and who's not). It's just not a big deal," says Panek. "Yes, Boom is gay bar, but The Room is more both. It brings in a new, open-minded crowd. All different types of people come here because they've heard good things, and then they just stay."

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.