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Heartbreak On The Dance Floor: Lodi Nightclub RISE Shuts Its Doors

Former RISE bartender Susana Nunez said the club shaped her into the woman she is today. Photo Credit: Susana Nunez
Eugene Introna of Franklin Lakes and his wife are closing longtime Lodi nightclub RISE. Photo Credit: Eugene Introna

After 36 years in business, Lodi's RISE nightclub is shutting its doors.

The South Main Street club was born in 1982 as Chicago Night Club and changed its name in 1997 to Soundgarden. The club held legendary Saturday night parties with live band entertainment. After 11 years of Soundgarden and during a fast-changing industry, Soundgarden became RISE -- an ultimate nightlife destination.

The name described what would come for decades at the S. Main Street club -- only to come to an end in May 2018.

The club provided escape for people across North Jersey for decades, shaping bartenders and deejays along the way.

"It was the place where I started as a 23-year-old girl with a toxic lifestyle who grew into a 32-year-old woman with a dental hygiene career and a newfound respect for herself and others," Susana Nunez wrote on Facebook.

"For me it was the place that showed me genuine love and support when I lost my mother... it was the place I really grew up in.... the place where our boss wasn’t JUST our boss but an actual friend and father figure to all of us who treated us all as if we were his own.

"For me it wasn’t just 'another club' ... it was my home."

Former employee Omar Gomez said Introna was like a father to him.

"This man is more than stand up, more than iconic, more than a mentor, father figure, role model, and words cannot describe the individual that is Eugene," he said.

"He gave everyone that walked into his business an opportunity not only to work for him and make money, but be a part of a family that was like no other...this man literally saw a person in me that I at times didn’t see in myself."

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