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Nightclub ideas

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 
After Kent Wang's suggestion (overpriced and trance) I thought it would be interesting to float this question here. My buddy and I are going to be opening a club in Tampa post-Army and still at least a year away. The idea so far is live danceable music, cater to locals, and build a loyal customer base. In other words, broad strokes. What sort of things do you look for in a club, things that bring you back over and over again? Same type of music every night, or different? Separate places for talking/dancing/chilling? "Mature" (25+ or 23+) crowd or no (most of the city is 18+ now)? Types of dress? Like I said, planning is in the early stages. I'm venturing out this afternoon to get a feel for the city, and then tonight to *ahem* research the competition. Anyone who takes the time to answer gets in free when dressed with panache Tom
post #2 of 67
It depends - do you want to be a swinging club owner or make money? If it's the latter, I would suggest keeping it 21+ (all your money is coming from booze) and to make it a gay club - on average, far and away the most profitable clubs. 2 out of 3 night clubs fail in the first year. Tough business, but if successful it sounds like fun.
post #3 of 67
Thread Starter 
You know, the common wisdom does seem to be that most of these places fail, but I've seen a couple of studies that suggest it's more like 2 out of 3 succeed.  Here's a link: bizstats Gay club eh...I see what you're saying, but what's the point of owning a club if it can't get you laid?  By the target demographic that is. Tom
post #4 of 67
Quote:
You know, the common wisdom does seem to be that most of these places fail, but I've seen a couple of studies that suggest it's more like 2 out of 3 succeed.  Here's a link: bizstats Gay club eh...I see what you're saying, but what's the point of owning a club if it can't get you laid?  By the target demographic that is. Tom
Owning a club period will get you laid, owning a gay club will get you laid as well, I've been to a gay club on a wierd (long story, I'm not gay) and there were a few very georgeous women there with their gay friends.   I assume if you are opening a club, you want to make money, and gay people generally spend more money and tip better.   Edited: to prevent confusion Eric
post #5 of 67
you know, it's all in the details. my favorite clubs are the ones that have a friendly atmosphere, no security, and good but not so popular music. if i hear something that's being played on the radio it's not as good as hearing a really cool song that i would have only heard at that club. remember to pay attention to details, like not having cheesy advertising inside, not even in the bathroom. find a good interior designer and give the place a unique look. it doesn't have to be expensive. avoid tacky details like those little nfl banners lined up above the bar. if it were me, i'd do something that tampa doesn't likely already have, like a 1920s anais nin vibe, with mellow music and lots of velvet. p.s. if you have to have security, hire an old man to stand outside and check i.d.s. don't hire a bunch of meatheads and don't frisk people before they go in. don't be ghetto.
post #6 of 67
The success of Studi 54, MUdd Club, Palladium, etc. were due to the fact that incroguous niches of people would go there. From Roy Cohn to Andy Warhol to Jackie Kennedy to King Juan Carlos of Spain. And a few prostitutes, et al.
post #7 of 67
My favorite clubs have decent beer on tap, good bartenders who can mix a decent drink, a laid back atmosphere (no meathead bouncers are a must), and most importantly, don't try hard to be upscale. No crappy modernist or postmodernist decor, and no dress code. Make contacts and book local live bands as much as possible, but partition the club so that there is a more mellow bar area where people can shoot the shit, play pool, etc... More later.
post #8 of 67
The most profitable clubs don't really have rock bands, and they usually do have "meathead" security. If you want to make real money, you'll need upscale clientel who will shell out $950 for a bottle of Cristal, or $350 for a bottle of Grey Goose. Usually you'll be playing an assortment of house, trance, some hip hop, and apparently some places play a bit of rock, but I've only heard that once or twice. If you want to see what one of the best places in the world does, visit www.timesupperclub.com
post #9 of 67
Quote:
My favorite clubs have decent beer on tap, good bartenders who can mix a decent drink, a laid back atmosphere (no meathead bouncers are a must), and most importantly, don't try hard to be upscale.  No crappy modernist or postmodernist decor, and no dress code.  Make contacts and book local live bands as much as possible, but partition the club so that there is a more mellow bar area  where people can shoot the shit, play pool, etc... More later.
Are you serious??? beer on tap..Wow I am impressed... geez louise what a "baller" this LA guy... Don't spend all your pennies at once.. Ok now to the point..I totally agree with PHV. Supper clubs are the most lucrative and desired clubs to own. They attract an upscale and attractive crowd, which leads to little or no security problems... You should visit Montreal some time in order to get a good grasp on clubs as well as supper clubs... Good luck
post #10 of 67
If you have already considered what I am about to say, then you can stop reading at any time, but... Not to be a downer, but I would presume that you know something about the operational aspects of being a club owner before you venture into this. This industry is a brutal one, and full of intricacies that you cannot even begin to imagine without having been in it. Just to name a few, you will have multitudes of insurance, license and rental options and issues depending on your clientele, your food to liquor sales ratios, location, opening hours, etc... How you set things up at the onset can save or cost you obscene amounts of money and even make or break you. You WILL (and yes I capitalized it) have employees stealing from you left and right, and customers trying to scam you on everything from cover charges to bottles of champagne. There will be drugs sold and used in your establishment by both employees and customers (don't be naïve and say that it will be a respectable place, because it happens in your local TGI Fridays, and it will happen in your place). Violence will occur - its not just about trying to avoid it, but also knowing how to deal with it with minimal disruption when it happens, etc etc etc. These are the realities of the business, and I can only hope that you know how to deal with all of them because in this industry you don't get a second chance. If it's your first foray into the restaurant and nightclub business, then I would suggest that you hold off for a little while on opening your own place and instead scout the city for an established, medium volume, well run place that you can buy "as is" and take over existing management. This way you can learn the business via one that is already successful with a "minimal" level of risk. Use the existing set up to educate yourself. Experience of the owners is one of the biggest factors in horeca success The success of a club/bar/restaurant is not just dependant on the music, décor, bouncers and sexual orientation of the clients. It is also a function of how well you can handle your inventory and distribution, liquor costs, staffing issues, H&S compliance, flaky egotistical coked up bartenders, obnoxious self important cheap and violent clients, overanxious cops and much much more. These are not the things that you want to learn on the fly after you a have sunk money into licenses, renovations, insurance, rent, inventory, blah blah blah.... I could go on and on about this, but wont for now. Maybe you have already considered all these and have tons of experience with them. If so, then I wish you the best of luck and next time I am in Tampa I will stop by. If not, start considering it now.... K
post #11 of 67
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the great thoughts guys.  Couple of things: LA Guy/matadorpoeta et al, as much as I would love to keep security to a minimum, one of Tampa's problems right now is that in the established club area, Ybor City, women just don't feel safe after 10:30 pm.  There are shootings every once in a while, all kinds of kids getting arrested...  Unless this stuff gets cleaned up, I'm not going to set up in that area.  Still, the worry is going to be in the back of people's minds for a while.  I'm hearing over and over again, "it has to feel safe." Have you seen or know of good ways to achieve balance here? If we do enforce a dress code, it's only going to be on hip-hop nights.  Security will also be more forward on those nights.  The consensus in the industry seems to be that hip-hop nights inspire such bad behavior that they might not even be worth holding. Labelking:  great point.  I'm hoping to inspire similar feelings through a diverse experience (dance floor, lounge area, "music afficionado" area) and having great personalities around, running the place, etc.  The other thing those places have going for them are NY, LA, which I don't have yet, but may eventually.
post #12 of 67
Thread Starter 
PHV, the problem with *another* trance/house club is differentiation. Also market need--what flies in one city won't necessarily in Tampa. I'd have to know a little more about the long-term viability of these places--who the customer base really is, and whether they stay popular after a year or two. Just because there's always a place like this to go, doesn't mean that it's always the same one. Arrogant, I'll pick out your one good point and say that outside of Tampa, most of our research has been in Europe over the last couple of years--Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Munich, Riga, Bratislava, Budapest, Prague, Barcelona, London... RyanAir is a beautiful thing. VKK, are you in the business? If so I'd really appreciate it if we could talk some of the details that you mentioned. Since my buddy is going to be moving here before me, we're working on getting him a job in a bar. Thanks all, keep it coming. Tom
post #13 of 67
I won't purport to be an expert, but I spent many years when I was living in the US in the bar/club industry (misspent youth). Never opened my own place, but have worked with and am good friends with people who have opened and run theirs. Some are still at it and doing quite well, others lost not only their shirts, but also everything else. Of people that I have seen fail, the one consistent thread is that while their ideas for atmosphere, promotion, décor, etc... might have been good they didn't know how to actually run the place. For example, if you don't know how to spot it a bartender with a heavy hand can increase your liquor costs by up to 50% (at that bar). Anyways, feel free to get in touch with me and I will try to help with whatever I can. Maybe even teach you the art of the short pour.... K
post #14 of 67
Quote:
PHV, the problem with *another* trance/house club is differentiation.  Also market need--what flies in one city won't necessarily in Tampa.  I'd have to know a little more about the long-term viability of these places--who the customer base really is, and whether they stay popular after a year or two.  Just because there's always a place like this to go, doesn't mean that it's always the same one. Arrogant, I'll pick out your one good point and say that outside of Tampa, most of our research has been in Europe over the last couple of years--Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Munich, Riga, Bratislava, Budapest, Prague, Barcelona, London...  RyanAir is a beautiful thing. VKK, are you in the business?  If so I'd really appreciate it if we could talk some of the details that you mentioned.  Since my buddy is going to be moving here before me, we're working on getting him a job in a bar.   Thanks all, keep it coming. Tom
tiger, the best idea here is that one of you get a job in a bar. I have found that, in every job and business, there are little things that you can either learn by trial and error over years, or learn in a few weeks working at somebody elses place. even very small things effect the profitability. I am supprised nobody brought this up - organized crime? do you know what the situation is for clubs in that area in terms of protection issues?
post #15 of 67
Quote:
Quote:
(LA Guy @ June 21 2005,18:20) My favorite clubs have decent beer on tap, good bartenders who can mix a decent drink, a laid back atmosphere (no meathead bouncers are a must), and most importantly, don't try hard to be upscale.  No crappy modernist or postmodernist decor, and no dress code.  Make contacts and book local live bands as much as possible, but partition the club so that there is a more mellow bar area  where people can shoot the shit, play pool, etc... More later.
Are you serious??? beer on tap..Wow I am impressed... geez louise what a "baller" this LA guy... Don't spend all your pennies at once.. Ok now to the point..I totally agree with PHV. Supper clubs are the most lucrative and desired clubs to own. They attract an upscale and attractive crowd, which leads to little or no security problems... You should visit Montreal some time in order to get a good grasp on clubs as well as supper clubs... Good luck
Hey arrogant, Carefully remove stick from rectum. You'll feel better. I just prefer laid back rock clubs where I can here some good bands and hole-in-the-wall bars. The Knitting Factory in L.A., and lately, the Paradise and T.T the Bear's in the Boston area. Places like that. What's your beef? I've been to Montreal plenty of times (I'm a Canadian) and to most of the so-called "upscale" LA and NYC clubs, and they tend to be filled with pricks like you. When I go to a club, it's to chill with my friends and listen to some good music, not to have some chest thumping experience with assholes. You remind me of the "striped shirt" guy. Someone give me the link, will you? I expect that you are one of those leather blazer, striped shirt and khaki dorks who spend their entire Saturday nights standing in line. Fool.
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