The really incredible part of the tour was the Vantage Rooftop Lounge and Conservatory. The space is bright and airy, with tables lining the many-windowed walls and a skylight beaming daylight down from above. Resting on the long bar was a heavy wooden mallet, not unlike Thor’s hammer, stamped with the Vantage logo (a logo designed, says McQueary, to evoke the Masonic roots of the building). More on the hammer in a moment.
Outside, we were able to see exactly what makes this new venue so special. The open panorama of downtown and beyond spreads out before you from the roof of V2, showing you the mix of building styles—some like old west facades, others industrial monoliths of brick and pipe—that clash to create the eclectic tableaux that is Springfield’s modern heart. Seating is deliberately placed to make sure you see the view no matter where you sit, still visible even from the deep-set and curtained cabana area. Like the interior, the exterior displays an incredible eye (pun partially intended) for balancing classic and modern designs on a knife-edge. Between each set of windows is a gas lamp, custom-made from copper for an aged look, and at one corner sits a heavy, antique bell. This is where the hammer comes in.
The bell, an authentic piece bought from a collector and engraved with a manufacturer’s name and the year it was made, 1848, sits in the outdoor area. Every day at sundown, the one-eyed hammer will be used to toll the bell, ringing it out across downtown. McQueary plans for this to be an enduring part of the downtown Springfield experience.