Terrazza owner opens new cocktail bar, The Balkan Lounge

  • Bar Manager Leah Gexler mixes up one of The Balkan Lounge’s signature drinks with owner Abaz Cecunjanin. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • The Balkan Fizz, a bubbly gin-based cocktail, at The Balkan Lounge in Greenfield. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Bar Manager Leah Gexler with The Balkan Fizz, a bubbly gin-based cocktail, at The Balkan Lounge in Greenfield. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • The fresh new interior of The Balkan Lounge on Ames Street in Greenfield. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • The Balkan Lounge is now open at 4 Ames St. in Greenfield, formerly The Red Door. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Signature cocktails as well as eight beers on tap are offered at The Balkan Lounge in Greenfield. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Bar Manager Leah Gexler mixes up one of The Balkan Lounge’s signature drinks with owner Abaz Cecunjanin. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 2/13/2020 7:13:38 PM

GREENFIELD — It would seem the Terrazza restaurant at the Country Club of Greenfield was just the beginning of Abaz Cecunjanin’s venture into Greenfield’s hospitality industry.

Cecunjanin opened a new cocktail bar on Jan. 19 called The Balkan Lounge at 4 Ames St., formerly home to The Red Door.

Cecunjanin explained that he had plans to open another restaurant in the former Country Jeweler location on Main Street, but has run into delays. So, when he heard the lease and liquor license at The Red Door was available, he charted a new course to open the cocktail bar.

“I wanted to open an upscale bar in Greenfield, a smaller room that felt comfortable,” he said. “If you didn’t want to have a large group at your home, you could come here.”

Cecunjanin, who emigrated from the Balkan Peninsula as a young man, said his 12-year-old daughter Elderino named the bar after his southeastern European homeland.

“I wanted it to be warm and welcoming when you come in,” Cecunjanin said, gesturing to the newly renovated space.

Nearly every aspect of the business has been redone, with the exception of the men’s room, at the request of locals who are fond of the floor-length urinal, he said. Blue LED lighting now lines the new back of the bar, contrasting the warm hues from the Edison style bulbs over the wooden bar itself. The wood floors have been freshly sanded and sealed.

Sound-absorbing acoustic tiles help contain the noise from the live music that performers have been providing, but when there isn’t a performer, patrons can select music on the new jukebox. Additionally, several televisions were added, allowing patrons to watch sporting events.

Cecunjanin said he will be a hands-off owner, busy at Terazza, so Leah Gexler has been tasked with managing the bar. She said she has nine years of experience as a bartender, mostly in Florida. She will have three other bartenders working to fill the shifts.

Some of the signature cocktails that Gexler makes include The Flirtini, The Liberating Mule, The Burning Mandarin, The Pick Me Up, The Balkan Fizz and The 413 Old Fashioned. Also available are eight beers on tap and Ginger Libation. While The Balkan Lounge will not serve food, patrons are encouraged to bring in take-out.

The Balkan Lounge is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. The space is also available to rent for private events by calling 413-325-8794.

Reach Paul Franz at 413-772-0261, ext. 266 or pfranz@recorder.com.




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