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"The women's room has only one commode in it, and the room has a locking door," says Lorrie Merriman, co-owner of O'Connell's in Bay Park. "Two women and a hot topic of discussion can tie it up all night."

So, "the landlord is letting us expand into the unit next door," says Rick LaLama, the other co-owner. "It used to be a hair salon. We're going to tear down a wall and make the club bigger. We're also going to put in a new stage, make the dance floor larger, fix the women's room, improve the sound system and lighting, and make it more conducive to [hosting] live music in general."

LaLama and Merriman (husband and wife) purchased O'Connell's in January 2005.

"My original thought was to keep the blues- and cover-band format they had," says LaLama, "but then we started doing original-rock showcases and more alternative-style music.... We lost our regulars, of course, but now I am actually having fun with the place.

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