Jungle Jim’s revamping its former Snake House to boost festivals and other events

Jungle Jim’s International Market in Fairfield is embarking on a project that will allow the popular area grocer to expand the footprint of its festivals and events.

The new venue’s name is The Oscar Station, because guests at Jungle Jim’s Oscar Event center will be shuttled there by monorail for additional offerings and activities. The structure’s previous name was the Snake House.

The project, which is approximately 65 percent done, is “still quite a ways from being completed” and might be ready by September, said Phill Adams, director of development for Jungle Jim’s.

Jungle Jim’s has hosted festivals inside its Oscar Event Center, and the Oscar Station will feature an “indoor/outdoor concept” and, in warmer months, will provide an additional 13,000 square feet of event space.

The 6,000-square-foot indoor building will have a bar and bathrooms and allows for events inside but will also have “a whole different feel” compared to the event center itself, Adams said. Garage doors will open onto more than 7,000 square feet of patio, and green space outside will be fenced in and include “maybe a couple of acres,” he said.

The bar inside the Oscar Station will be “phenomenal,” he said.

The building will be designed in a very basic fashion to allow for greater flexibility as to its eventual purpose and “to do a lot of things out there,” Adams said.

“It could have different functions each night,” he said. “Once we figure out what we’re doing, it’s going to be a really cool venue.”

Jungle Jim’s has something similar to the Oscar Station at its Eastgate location in a building it calls its Pavilion, which is 2,000 square feet, he said.

It’s not unusual for Jungle Jim’s to construct a space and then figure out what it’s ultimate use will be, he said. When the space that is now known as Oscar Event Center first opened, it was used by the grocer for various uses before an event center ended up as its role.

“We ran it for a year to two years before we really had a good handle on what we were going to do with it,” Adams said. “We built it on space, kind of what we’re doing here (with Oscar Station). We’re building it on spec and we’re going to ride the wave and see how it evolves.”

The last phase of the pour for the concrete base of the patio occurred Monday, Adams said. Next up will be groundwork, landscaping and fencing.

In 2017, Jungle Jim’s constructed a new building to house the extra monorail trains previously stored inside the Snake House, with the goal of upgrading them, then installing them on the monorail that will take guests up and back from Oscar Event Center and Oscar Station.

“We needed to do that to do this project,” Adams said.

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