Plan B, set to be one of Madison's largest gay nightclubs, will open Thursday night after its owners spent 2 1/2 years developing the project.

The club in the former Star Photo building, 924 Williamson St., has had its opening delayed by renovation work and, for nearly two years before that, finding a suitable location, said co-owner Rico Sabatini.

"We completely gutted a 60-year-old building and redid everything," said Sabatini, who estimated the project's cost at $500,000. "Everything is brand new."

The 61,000-square-foot bar, restaurant and dance club has a capacity of 250 people Thursdays to Saturdays and 200 Sundays to Wednesdays. The Madison City Council approved those capacities last February with an option to increase it after the business operates for a few months.

"The building can hold quite a bit more than that," Sabatini said. Those capacities were set because Plan B is near a residential area, although it has an ample parking lot, he added.

"Our parking lot lights really light up the area. It creates security for the neighbors. It's a point of safety," Sabatini said. "The neighbors will be pleased with it. And it's a perfect fit. We can't ask for better exposure than Willy Street."

Plan B - along withClub 5, at 5 Applegate Court near Fish Hatchery Road south of the Beltline - is one of Madison's largest clubs catering to gay patrons.

Sabatini, who co-owns the club with Corey Gresen, of Madison, said Plan B will present "East Coast chic with a West Coast, laid-back vibe." The club will be open to anyone age 18 and older on Thursday nights. All other days will be limited to customers age 21 and older.

"We're really excited about it," Sabatini said. "A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into this project."

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