The former 32 Degrees will be targeting a broader audience with cutting-edge nightlife concepts at the Quarter at Tropicana
New as business partners but longtime nightlife-industry associates, Carrie Kauffman and Lambros Tsikouras know the trends destined to fizzle and those proven to endure.
The adage “times are always changing” may ring true more than anything else in nightlife, and keeping options fresh is as crucial to success as making overpriced out of fashion in an economy that has seldom seen more people with less disposable income.
Kauffman worked for Tsikouras when he owned the former Zoom Bar & Grill in Margate (now Sofia), and worked with him at 32 Degrees Luxe Lounge in the Quarter at Tropicana when they co-managed that property for about the last six years. When parent company (and Quarter neighbor) Cuba Libre opted to expand its restaurant/rum bar operation elsewhere and phase out of nightlife at 32 Degrees, it offered the two the chance to purchase the property and become business partners.
“Cuba Libre's going to continue its Late Night Latin Floor Show, which has been popular in the Quarter for years, but they wanted to phase out of nightlife [at 32 Degrees],” says Kauffman. “They just opened in Washington [DC] and Orlando and will soon be opening in other parts of the country, and really just wanted to focus on those properties. So they offered [32 Degrees] to us and we just jumped on it.”
A smallish but high-end lounge specializing in VIP bottle service, the A.C. 32 Degrees opened in Feb. 2005, shortly after the Quarter debuted. Kauffman and Tsikouras purchased it in late 2011 and immediately began a major renovation project, intending to open the new room as a sort of hybrid Las Vegas-style rock ‘n’ roll bar and Miami-style dance club called Anthem. Completely retooled and expanded, the new club is set to open the second week in May.
“I’ve known Lambros for 15 years and we wanted to partner up and do something together, our way,” says Kauffman. “I think that we both kind of felt like, at this point, pushing bottle service and the VIP status [in a down economy] needed a change, so we came up with the concept.”
The pair employed SOSH Architects (creator of much of the interior design at the Tropicana, Revel and others) to carry out their design idea. Among its most unique components is a photo booth with live feed that interacts with a 360-degree cylindrical screen visible not just throughout the lounge, but from other parts of the Quarter.
“They’re called ring screens [and] they have double-sided visuals so the outside and the inside of the screen both show what’s being played on it,” says Kauffman. “We’re putting that in the center of the room and basically the DJ booth controls everything. We can do live video feeds from inside the photo booth, from any of the cameras inside of the club, we can play music videos, movies, show a lot of crazy graphics — whatever you want to do. We’ll have a million different options. The photo booth will actually give you the option to directly upload your photos to Facebook.”
Many of Anthem’s components are not only new to Atlantic City, but to any nightlife scene.
“I think that what’s been forgotten about by a lot of people is that nightlife is supposed to be about the energy and the fun, and that’s what we want. Everything’s visually stimulating. Every hour on the hour the DJ’s going to play a set of actual anthems — songs that stand the test of time whether it be from the 1970s, ’80s, ‘90s or today. We’ll have musicians playing along with the DJs — mainly three- or maybe four-piece bands. The bands will play in the center of the room, which was completely gutted and re-done.”
“We saw this coming and we’re well prepared to grow it for the next 10 or 15 years. This is a whole transition we’re living through.”
Brunch, in our opinion, is easily the most sophisticated meal of the day.
Weiss’ work has been the subject of books and photo galleries, and, owing to his friendship with Boogie Nights owner Dave Pena, some of his work from the 1970s and ’80s will be on display when Boogie Nights opens.
Tropicana officials recently announced that a deal has been reached to bring the popular retro nightclub Boogie Nights to Tropicana.
All you need to know about the ACWeekly.com Reader’s Choice Nightlife Awards Party at Boogie Nights Jan. 27; plus interview with '80s pop princess Tiffany.
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C'mon baby, let's do the twist.
� IT WAS ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY (Wednesday, Oct. 6), during a webcast of an investor's conference in Las Vegas that the much-anticipated opening of Tropicana's The Quarter won't happen until early November. Since much of the recent press material distributed by the company indicated a mid-October opening was planned, I had begun to get really excited knowing that the opening would happen in a matter of days. Now we'll all just have to be patient and wait another month for what will be the most exciting event to take place in Atlantic City since Borgata's opening 15 months ago. Paul Rubeli, chairman and CEO of Tropicana's parent company, Aztar Corporation, explained that delays in rebuilding the parking garage that collapsed during construction almost a year ago have resulted in a rescheduling of the completion date of the garage structure to November 9. According to a statement issued yesterday by Aztar's VP of corporate communications, Joe Cole, "Following the completion of the garage structure and required inspections by various state and local authorities, Aztar plans to open the garage, the new hotel tower and The Quarter to the public." Cole confirmed to me by phone that the company is committed to opening the project in its...
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