The Casino Queen  in East St. Louis, Ill., is raising the stakes in its bid to capture a larger share of the local gaming market with the start of construction on a new $2.15 million sports bar and entertainment venue that will enhance the overall experience for guests. The 6,250-square-foot facility has been coined “SEVENS,” and will house pieces from the St. Louis Cardinals Museum Collection. Perfectly situated just steps from the gaming floor, the new multi-purpose entertainment venue is expected to open in fall 2009.
Named after its popular predecessor “Club Sevens,” which was located in the original Casino Queen Visitor’s Center, the new “SEVENS” will take shape in the area of the new casino that, until recently, housed the Gateway Café and gift shop. It is being designed to feature a full spectrum of entertainment amenities. On top of showcasing St. Louis Cardinals historic memorabilia in specially lit museum cases, SEVENS will offer the ultimate sports-viewing experience with 16 high-definition flat screen televisions and a retractable projection screen to be viewed from all angles of the facility. To further accent the sports theme, the entry floor will be made of glass mirror chips embedded with hockey pucks, murals will feature oversize sports ball images and rows of baseball bats will accent the walls of several VIP booths.
The venue also is being designed with the capacity to accommodate live musical entertainment with a 360-square-foot stage set near a large dance floor. SEVENS will feature a broad dining menu complete with a full bar.
“Since moving inland in 2007, we have been planning on opening a sports bar and entertainment venue to replace the Club Sevens night club that was adored by our patrons,” commented Jeff Watson, Casino Queen spokesperson. “This new and improved club venue will greatly enhance the overall entertainment experience for our gaming guests when they visit us here at the home of the loosest slots, while also serving as a fun sports bar and night spot for the non-gaming crowd.”
To create an atmosphere that will be conducive to the range of entertainment events, SEVENS will feature a state-of-the-art theatrical effects elements lighting system. This unique system is made up of large circular translucent fabric clouds, back lighted with DMX controlled LED lights, suspended from the ceiling in the main area. The system uses a blend of different lighting to create the perfect atmosphere depending on how the club is being used: red for Cardinals games, pulsating and changing color during concerts and dance nights and glowing with warm, soft colors during dining hours. The facility’s underlying color scheme features subdued dark woods played off against light champagne metallics, allowing the lighting system to set the appropriate ambiance.
As part of the current construction, a new gift shop will also be built near the main entrance of the casino.
St. Louis-based KAI Design and Build  and Legacy Building Group, LLC  have been selected as primary architect and contractor, respectively. Subcontractors include AmeriStructure, Ford Food Service, Lighting Solutions and Cignal, which is handling the acoustical and theatrical design elements.
Since debuting its new multi-million dollar land-based gaming facility in August 2007, the Casino Queen has continued to reinvest in the property. The Casino Queen recently completed $2.2 million in hotel renovations, providing a new level of sophistication and comfort in each of the guest rooms on floors two through six. The renovations include new décor, an upgrade to the electronics with custom, wall-mounted and framed flat panel LCD TV screens and new spa-like amenities in the bathrooms. Additional recent investments at the facility include $700,000 for two climate-controlled smoking lounges.
The Casino Queen, located at 200 South Front Street in East St. Louis, Ill., was established in 1993 and has since made more than $9 million in charitable contributions and invested more than $200 million in capital improvements on the East St. Louis riverfront. The Casino Queen Hotel originally opened in January 2000.