No What? In the Champagne Room
I remember it like yesterday: We must have been in the new office for just a few months. It was either September, or October, about five years ago when I got the email – “We need to tap into the hivemind and get a few ideas for the champagne rooms in the club.” Like busy bees, we filled our browser history with search terms like “neon dance poles” and “velvet lap dance chairs” (therefore received a million ads targeted at men reaching their midlife crisis). Along the way, we came up with a chorus of design ideas that would make these rooms like any other champagne room ever imagined.
(If you don't know, champagne rooms are private rooms within the confines of a strip club where you get one-on-one time with the dancers, but are only allowed to hands-off watch.)
That day, back in 2012, the entire studio jumped into a problem and together, we crowd-sourced a handful of ideas that were later presented to the client. These reflected our individual personalities, and because we are all so different, some were more risqué, others coy. If the goal was to design for variety, we immediately achieved that.
ICRAVE started as a design-build company. We dipped our toes in nightlife before fully diving into hospitality. Nightclub - and the lesser talked about, but equally complex, strip club - design is our foundation, and the reason we became the hospitality design experts that we are today.. Since then, we have collected a few tips and tricks to better design venues that resist the wear and tear of nightlife beatings. Here are our favorites:
The ICRAVE Nightlife Design Commandments (no sex included):
- Research a lot. You must understand your client and their customer.
- Don’t forget the ladies.
- Augmented reality headsets. Why not.
- Design from the waist up. Nobody looks down when the goods are above you and you will have more budget for the feature moments that matter.
- Make sure your bar is kick-ass.
- Dark is better than light, make sure your lights dim to nothing.
- When designing the lap dance chair – make sure it is (a) comfortable for both the one receiving and the one giving, (b) curve the arms of the chair, they will last longer this way.
- Stiletto-proof fabric is a thing, always spec it. And while you are looking for fabrics, make sure they are strong and easy to clean.
- Nothing should be precious. Big and bold is better than subtle and delicate.
- Have fun with the Champagne Rooms, someone will remember them, and maybe even write a song about it.
Oh! And these images, yeah, they are all from that charrette. This was us, five years ago – we have grown up so much, but still manage to have a lot of fun.