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Nightclub opens its doors

MONMOUTH -- Antoinne Bbayaga said how to spend your evenings in Monmouth was a dilemma he first encountered not long after enrolling at Western Oregon University in 2009.

General manager Antoinne Bbayaga hopes the Black Diamond Bar & Grill wil fill a void in Monmouth, giving the town a more cosmopolitan entertainment option.

Photo by Pete Strong

General manager Antoinne Bbayaga hopes the Black Diamond Bar & Grill wil fill a void in Monmouth, giving the town a more cosmopolitan entertainment option.

December 05, 2012

MONMOUTH -- Antoinne Bbayaga said how to spend your evenings in Monmouth was a dilemma he first encountered not long after enrolling at Western Oregon University in 2009.

A common answer was driving to Corvallis, Eugene or Portland, which can be trouble if you're bar hopping, said Bbayaga, a native of Nairobi, Kenya.

"When you're an international student, you have this aspect of the United States as a place where everybody is having fun and that college is a place to do that," he said.

The student is trying to change that. He's the general manager of the Black Diamond Bar & Grill, which opened its doors to the public in October.

The venue is a restaurant during the day, serving American and Indian cuisine. At 8 p.m., it transforms into a lounge and dance club.

The business is owned by Inderjit Dhalwali, the former owner of Daybreak Snack Shop. Bbayaga, a business student who has experience working in clubs in Kenya and Norway, approached Dhalwali with a plan earlier this year.

When Boss's Burgers, the last eatery at the location, abruptly closed in June, Dhalwali took Bbayaga up on his offer and began immediate renovations to transform the spot from a fast food joint.

The kitchen was overhauled, and the interior received a full service bar, a dining area, dance floor and even a VIP room that patrons can rent out.

"It took about six months to finish," Bbayaga said.

Black Diamond runs a number of special promotions during the week. Thursday is Caribbean night, with island and Latin music. Patrons can get half-priced pitchers and $3 microbrews on Fridays. Saturdays feature champagne service and a live DJ.

Black Diamond will offer burgers, wings and other pub fare, along with entrees such as chicken Alfredo. It will also specialize in a variety of Indian food, helping fill a void in the city after Real Taste of India burned down more than a year ago.

"It's something that I missed and a lot of students here, too, especially our Arab students," Bbayaga said.

The town's last foray into a nightclub on Main Street was a short one. The Nine Lounge closed just a few weeks after opening last spring. Bbayaga said there was a void that needed to be filled.

"We're a college town," Bbayaga said. "Why shouldn't we be able to enjoy the same things as Corvallis and Eugene?"

Check It Out

What: Black Diamond Bar & Grill.

Where: 423 Main St. E, Monmouth.

Hours: Monday and Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; closed on Sundays.

Of note: Minors are permitted at Black Diamond until 8 p.m.

Food and drink specials are available throughout the week. A VIP room can also be rented out.

For more information: 503-837-1400 or check out Black Diamond Bar & Grill's page on Facebook.