1. Archive

Restaurant undergoes an uptown makeover

For three years, Bentley's was not unlike a lot of other Spring Hill restaurants: a small bar and a dining room with a full menu for lunch and dinner.

But the owners have decided to take a new direction, making changes that include scaling back the menu in favor of a much larger lounge, expanded entertainment and a game room.

Earlier this month, Bentley's became Rumors, a move, owners say, that caters to a wide range of customers.

With touches such as candles, special lighting, a dance floor and a small stage, the staff transformed the restaurant into something completely different, said manager Debbie Lund.

"It's totally a nightclub atmosphere now," she said. "You wouldn't even recognize the place if you'd seen it before."

By catering to a 21-and-up crowd, Lund said, the lounge can focus on atmosphere and music.

"I don't think there's anything anybody wouldn't enjoy," she said of the bar's new look. "For a long time, people wanted somewhere to go with a nice atmosphere _ somewhere fun."

Beginning at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, customers can dance to the sounds of local bands such as Simple Soul, the Zoots, Smooth and Baby Huey for a $3 cover charge.

"We're working on getting more and newer bands from Tampa in here," Lund said.

On Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, a DJ plays a mix of top 40 music from 7 to 11 p.m. On Wednesdays, vocalist Stan Prinston performs from 7 to 11 p.m. Drawing patrons in the 30-60 age group, Prinston's renditions of standards by artists such as Neil Diamond and Frank Sinatra not only fill the dining room, but the dance floor as well.

"He's been here forever," Lund said. "He does a nice job and has a very good following."

Something different on Thursdays is Giggle's Comedy Club, featuring local and national comedians, said Lund.

"We've had a packed house every time so far," she said. "If you want to come, I suggest you make a reservation or you probably won't get a table."

A game room adjacent to the bar now features two pool tables, video games and a big-screen television. With the lounge's new special menu of sandwiches, burgers, baskets and pub food, Lund said it rivals any sports bar.

"We're really looking forward to football season," Lund said. "It's a whole different atmosphere for our staff. They've gone from waiting tables to serving cocktails and having fun with the customers."