and can do 3-foot fire balls,
but it’s like any other element
when you get into the sensory
experience,” N9NE Group’s
Morton says. “You have to tell
a story and can’t overdo it. It
will lose its special nature.”
At Butter NC in Charlotte, N.C., (left) owner Noah Lazes chooses a design concept that
is both aesthetic and durable, while Michael Morton, owner of N9NE Group, uses a mix
of technology and intimate seating arrangements at Vegas’ Rain Nightclub (right).
Portability: Take it Outside
More and more, guests want
to take the nightlife experience
outdoors. A street-level patio
or a hotel rooftop gives guests
a contrast to the inside and
gives club owners a chance to
provide a new experience while
creating another revenue-producing space. Typically, the
outside space is more laid-back
and comfortable. For example,
the inside of a venue might
feature largely black and white
furniture, while the outdoor
space makes more of a statement with bold color cushions.
But like the inside, it likely has
modular seating, with the inclusion of a day bed or two, says
Lucas of Modern Line.
For the most part, outdoor
areas are free from a lot of the
bells and whistles of the indoor
décor. The attraction of the patio
area is the outdoors itself, so
the crucial amenities of the out-
doors are all meant to enhance
that experience — umbrellas,
heaters, fans, fire elements,
clear walls and retractable roofs.
Such fixtures and features
make outdoor revelry possible
in any climate. If you want to sit
outside on a cold winter day in
New York, there’s a space for
that; if you want to sit outside
in the Las Vegas heat, there’s a
space for that.
Outdoor areas also are
incorporating more fun social
activities, according to Puccini
Group’s Polacek. “I’ve recently
seen a lot of new bars open
that are more about fun and
play than VIP service,” Polacek
says. “Some have ping-pong
tables on decks. In Vegas,
that’s become a more main-
stream idea with Wii, PlaySta-
tion and Xbox. And I think that’s
a trend that will move forward
because it adds more fun and
excitement to nightlife.”
Polacek nails the big trend
in nightlife design. Elements
that make the experience fun,
personal and exciting — illumi-
nated tables, intimate seating
clusters, innovative lighting,
artful umbrellas or platforms for
playing video games — define
today’s nightlife environments
as cutting edge and worthy of a
return trip. NCB
Chris Crowell writes about the hospitality
industry from Cleveland, Ohio.
Thirsty for More?
Design trends are constantly changing
— keep up with what’s new. Visit
nightclub.com and search a specific
term: design, backbar design, décor,
furnishings — you name it, we’ve
Design for the Times
Flexibility and fun are the buzzwords in nightlife design today. Here are
some tips for cashing in on the trends.
ease of cleaning and replacement/re-pair options.
shouldn’t stop at the air vents; ceiling
fans can enhance their effect and also
add a unique design element.
• Buy furnishings wisely. Options
abound — from custom-built to
modular — so look at what you’re
trying to accomplish in the space.
Will the venue’s seating configura-
tions remain unchanged, or do you
want to move pieces around, creating
several arrangements to accom-
modate various themes or clienteles
on different nights? Also investigate
materials with an eye on durability,
• Think creatively about lighting.
Illumination from unexpected places,
such as table bases or wall panels,
provides both light and ambiance,
along with a “wow factor.” Consider
power sources and energy efficiency,
as well as durability when making
selections on such products.
• Keep your environment at optimal
temperature for guest comfort. State-
of-the-art cooling and heating systems
• Maximize the great outdoors.
When creating an outside space,
make sure the outdoor elements of
the night sky and fresh air remain
at center stage. Select umbrel-
las, heaters, fans and seating that
enhance the outdoor experience; look
for graceful umbrella stands, quiet
heaters that are less industrial in
appearance and seating that is both
weather-resistant and attractive.