During the day, Gold Spike will probably be best considered a coworking space for downtown residents and local visitors. With free, fast WiFi. Same concept as the ground floor of the forthcoming Inspire Theater. At night, it will switch over to a lounge vibe. The former security booth becomes a DJ booth. And, there are distractions aplenty.
Shuffleboard, bean bags, hefty art books on the tables. Lots of areas to pair off, or sit in groups. Two pool tables. A few non-obtrusive TVs. Candles everywhere. There is a bed right by the entrance.
The bar was overhauled and all the gaming removed. And, we heard the counter has already been filled with wall-to-wall laptops during the day. By each stool there is a power outlet for you to charge up. Surrounding the bar, two oversized dart boards with chalk walls. They check the chalk graffiti daily for obscenities. You'll also discover a golf video game and a miniature shuffleboard set-up.
The never-close Grill has added some healthier options to their menu, but it remains a modern version of a casino coffee shop. While local murmurs mistakenly suggested a pizza joint was moving in, there are thoughts about adding another food concept down the road.
Next to the Grill, on the way out to the patio, is an ATM and photo booth. Then you walk out to this:
Outside, the high-speed WiFi is still in full force. They are thinking about what to do with the airstream provided by Airstream 2 Go, a DTP-backed project located at Fremont and 10th. It has already been used for a conference meeting.
You can also watch construction on the forthcoming Downtown Grand.
Stuff, is a mini booth next door to the former cashier's cage. You can borrow retro games and, soon, a selection of books from the counter. Right now, they have things like Battleship, Clue, Twister, Scrabble, etc. At the bar during our visit, Connect Four was set up and ready to play. From MB!
Options for the cashier's cage, like a number of sections on the ground floor, are still being brainstormed. Even an aquarium was suggested. They are currently limited by imagination.
Gold Spike embodies a physical realization of the theories behind Tony Hsieh and the Downtown Project's approach to redeveloping this area. Connections, random elements, youthful energy, a not-so-serious imagination and a destination that is clean and safe. An eradication of the former downtown experience.
And, enthusiasm is key. The reason we were able to receive an early tour was an introduction by a security guard we encountered the second we stepped through the door. We can't remember a more enthusiastic ambassador for a new venue, an employee who urgently wanted to introduce us to the new Gold Spike. We were impressed at the transformation. And, really liked what what we saw. We urge you to discover for yourself.