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Highlander Hotel owner Angela Harrington is hoping a renovated Supper Club, which opened on Thanksgiving Eve, will draw upon the space’s history and serve as a gathering place once again. First opening in Iowa City in 1967 as a restaurant and bar before adding a ballroom and two-story hotel in 1972, the Supper Club is now open noon to midnight daily serving food and drinks. While visitors shouldn’t anticipate the hotel’s original menu returning — gone are the days of ordering African lobster tails for $7.30, chicken livers for less than a carton of eggs at Hy-Vee, a cup of turtle soup for 75 cents and a crabmeat cocktail to wash it all down — customers can help themselves to a more contemporary menu consisting of street tacos, stonefire pizzas, pasta and rice bowls, burgers, drinks from Big Grove and ReUnion Brewery, and signature cocktails. For years, the Supper Club served as a space for larger events and community gatherings. Now, Ms. Harrington — president and CEO of Catalyst Development, owner of Hotel Grinnell, a member on the board of directors at the Iowa Hotel and Lodging Association, and the CBJ’s 2021 Entrepreneur of the Year — has put her own spin on the space by building out a retro arcade, in addition to bringing back the bar and live music. Her arcade includes classics like skee-ball, Pac-Man, Galaga, Donkey Kong and Frogger, while incorporating games more popular today, like Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero, Minecraft and Mario Kart. “Generations want to hang out together,” she said. “That’s the Highlander’s magic. We wanted an active space.” The distinctive sunken bar, more common at the time, gives Supper Club-goers a slightly different experience than the elevated, high top bars found today. The bar needed to be restored by current ownership, as a limestone wall separated the Supper Club area into a meeting room in the '90s. But the bar was still there. “It’s not cheap to dig out a bar and all the plumbing to go with it,” she explained, noting her husband Steve did the Supper Club renovation and much of the hotel by himself. "I had to use the project's renovation budget to stay afloat during the pandemic." Without dedicating the space as a local landmark, she said she never would’ve had the funds to relaunch the Supper Club on top of all other renovations the Highlander needed. The designation gave her local tax credits to be used for the hotel, although it only covered about 10% of the total cost. Between the bar and arcade games are dart boards and billiard tables. On the adjacent walls are shelves of record albums, where Ms. Harrington said she has occasionally let customers take a record home with them. Bands often play in the corner of the room on busy nights, she said. “I want people to connect with each other as much as the wifi,” she said.