The club's bouncers kept people away from the area Thursday night, a week after a 20-year-old college student alleged that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sexually assaulted her in that room. Instead of a VIP area behind a black curtain where only attractive females were allowed to venture, a $20-per-head rap concert was held in a large rear area of the Capital City Night Club.
The bass concussed the walls of this more than 100-year-old building, but nothing like the reverberations that have hit this small college town and threaten Roethlisberger's livelihood -- and possibly freedom.
"His bodyguards were back there guarding the door to the bathroom,'' said Thomas Freeman, a 19-year-old freshman at Georgia College & State University, who was present the night of the alleged incident. "I don't know exactly what was going on."
Investigators from the Milledgeville Police Department and the Georgia Department of Investigations have attempted to piece that together, interviewing dozens of people who were inside the club at the time of the alleged incident and securing video footage from the club.
Those who returned to Capital City Thursday night described what kind of exclusive environment the back room became once Roethlisberger walked in with a half-dozen friends -- including two Pennsylvania law enforcement officers who acted as his security -- along with a handful of females, including the accuser.
Club managers allowed the group to take over the back room and assigned two staffers to control who entered the area, which has its own bar. One club patron was perched just outside the closed-off area but had a clean view of Roethlisberger, and said other than not letting any males back there, he didn't notice anything out of the ordinary -- until the police arrived around 2:30 am.
"He was as surprised as anybody," a college student at Georgia College & State University told FanHouse on condition of anonymity, since he was not legally supposed be in the bar after the 2 a.m. last call. "I don't think Ben had any idea what it was all about."
Roethlisberger, who was interviewed briefly after the accuser reported the incident in the early morning hours of March 5, has not yet returned for an in-depth talk with police.
Police also had their own questions to answer on Friday after the Milledgeville Union-Recorder published photos of two uniformed officers posing with Roethlisberger before the alleged incident took place. Milledgeville Police Chief Woodrow W. Blue said the officers won't be disciplined since there was no set policy against posing for photos.
Blue also said his investigators "are going through the process" in the Roethlisberger case, which is one of an unusually high number of serious crimes -- including a murder -- the Milledgeville Police Department is currently handling.
"We have not set any kind of timetable," Blue told FanHouse. "It's more important to get to the facts and find out what happened. We are just taking our time and making sure we do a thorough and complete investigation."
Blue refused to comment on how soon officers may again talk to Roethlisberger, who is reportedly back in Pittsburgh, and if he thought it would take a court order to get a DNA sample from the quarterback.
"That's part of the investigation," Blue said. "We will not release any facts."
It's not just the police who are doing the investigating. A private investigator hired by Roethlisberger's attorney, Ed Garland, has bounced around town in his silver Porsche, talking to many of the same people police have interviewed.
"Rest assured we are looking into everything," private investigator Charles Mittelstadt said outside the police station Friday.
Messages left for the accuser's attorney, Lee Parks of Atlanta, were not returned.
"Roethlisberger doesn't live in Milledgeville," said John Ferguson, an orthodontist and president of the Milledgeville Rotary Club. "He does live about 35 miles away, but we do have a lot of bars in town."
Ferguson described the biggest problem downtown where Capital City and other businesses are located: parking.
This is the second time in as many years Milledgeville entered the national lexicon.
The CBS Evening News reported on the economic pressures the town and surrounding Baldwin County were encountering after Rheem, the heating and cooling company that once employed more than 2,000 people shuttered a factory. What had been one of the nation's largest psychiatric hospitals and a youth detention facility have also closed in recent years.
Unemployment sits at 11.1 percent, about one percent above the national average.
But a swath of reporters that crowded Milledgeville earlier this week wasn't the type of economic boost this region was looking for, and a handful of reporters who were in front of Capital City had "Go home!" taunts hurled their direction.
"I certainly hope that people don't get the wrong image of Milledgeville," Blue said. "It's a lovely, very historic town."