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Mountain Top man opening goth-themed bar in Scranton



Clear skies. Low 53F. Winds light and variable..
Clear skies. Low 53F. Winds light and variable.
Business partners Josh Balz and Steve Masterson stand Friday in an upcoming establishment opening up called Noir on Penn Avenue in downtown Scranton.
Business partners Josh Balz, left, and Steve Masterson stand Friday in their new establishment called Noir on Penn Avenue in downtown Scranton.
Chandeliers hang from the ceiling Friday in a new goth-themed establishment called Noir that will be opening up in the former Keyes Bar on Penn Avenue in downtown Scranton.
Business partners Josh Balz and Steve Masterson stand Friday in an upcoming establishment opening up called Noir on Penn Avenue in downtown Scranton.
Business partners Josh Balz, left, and Steve Masterson stand Friday in their new establishment called Noir on Penn Avenue in downtown Scranton.
Chandeliers hang from the ceiling Friday in a new goth-themed establishment called Noir that will be opening up in the former Keyes Bar on Penn Avenue in downtown Scranton.
Josh Balz embodies goth, so his latest venture fittingly will be a goth-themed bar/restaurant in Scranton called Noir.
Balz, 30, of Fairview Twp., and business partner Steve Masterson, 39, of Scranton are taking over the spot of the former Keys bar at 244 Penn Ave. and hope to have Noir open next month.
Balz previously created and promoted a monthly, limited-invitation nightclub/goth dance party event called Noir Nights that regularly sold out at Masterson’s Stage West venue in West Scranton.
Noir Nights were such a success that the pair decided to give the goths their own bar/restaurant.
At the Penn Avenue location, Balz is creating the décor and ambiance and Masterson will focus on the bar/restaurant fare. Noir means black in French.
“I’m going to make it more elegant, not dark, spooky and scary,” Balz said of Noir’s goth theme. “It will have that baroque feeling of elegance.”
Balz’s other ventures include the Strange and Unusual antique store and oddities parlor in Kingston, which has the Harry Potter-themed cafe called Steamy Hollows inside; and the Batty Fang Salon & Spa at The Woodlands in Wilkes Barre.
Previously, Balz was a keyboard player for Motionless in White, a nationally recognized metal band that originated in NEPA and enjoyed success on its own and on the festival circuit, including spots on the Vans Warped Tour.
Balz is unique, dressed all in black — T-shirt, pants, boots and cap — with black fingernails, numerous tattoos, ear gauges and a handlebar mustache.
Aiming to make Noir “a dark, beautiful place,” Balz installed above the bar three gold chandeliers he found at an antique store. The back bar will feature gothic-styled woodwork that came from a church in Lebanon.
A huge head mount of a water buffalo will dominate the wall opposite the bar, and will be illuminated on both sides with custom, handcrafted metalwork sconces.
They plan to offer sidewalk service and use an adjoining parking lot for outdoor events, possibly including an oddities flea market and participation in First Friday attractions.
Noting the trendy renaissance of several buildings and businesses in the immediate area of Penn Avenue, Masterson said, “We kind of fit right in here.”
Contact the writer:
jlockwood@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9100 x5185
@jlockwoodTT
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