Presenting the 2012 NCB Awards Nightclub Category Winners

Nightclub & Bar

Which national nightclubs are the crème de la crème? Who has reached the top of the nightlife game? Nightclub & Bar Media Group would like to recognize the Nightclub Category Winners of the 2012 Nightclub & Bar Awards, the only awards program where the industry’s best are selected by the industry’s best.Awards logo

As the premier nightlife-industry recognition program, the Nightclub & Bar Awards feature a vigorous judging process. Venue owners, operators and managers, as well as suppliers, vendors and other industry members eager to recognize excellence in on-premise concepts, programs, talent and professionalism are invited to submit entries. Qualifying entries then are presented to an expert judging panel composed of top consultants, developers, educators, writers, editors and trainers in the industry. The judges rank their first, second and third choices for each category; a mathematical calculation identifies the finalists and, ultimately, the winners, based on the judges’ ballots.

Those of us at Nightclub & Bar are proud to showcase a selection of shining examples of originality, artistry, enterprise and prosperity — qualities essential to not only surviving but thriving in the modern nightlife industry. Many Winners will be at the 2012 Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas, March 12-14. Be sure to watch them walk the Red Carpet and receive their awards on March 13!

A big thanks goes out to all of this year’s competitors as well as the judges who carefully considered hundreds of entries. Check out the Bar Category Winners here. And be sure to join Nightclub & Bar and toast the winners in Las Vegas!

Megan Hernandez
Digital Content Director

Nightclub & Bar Media Group

Nightclub & Bar 2012 Nightclub of the Year

New York City, N.Y.

Established by hospitality entrepreneurs Richie Akiva, Scott Sartiano and Ronnie Madra, Nightclub & Bar’s 2012 Nightclub of the Year is a 6,000-square-foot lounge inspired by Manhattan’s social scene in the 1980s and ’90s. Located at the crossroads between 1OAKChelsea and the Meatpacking District, 1OAK strives to create an environment that is amicable and unpredictable, celebrating creativity, energy and individuality rather than wallets full of cash.

“You cannot buy your way into 1OAK,” Akiva says. “We are returning to a time when people enjoyed going out without the pressure of spending money.”

Opened in 2007, 1OAK has enjoyed a long, healthy life by New York nightlife standards. The club has not only survived but thrived for almost five years, even in the midst of an economic recession when patrons nationwide have understandably tightened their purse strings.

“I think what sets 1OAK apart is that (Akiva, Sartiano and I) have had a collective influence on the way the nightclub business is approached,” Madra says. “We didn’t pigeonhole (1OAK) into being a commercial venue or being too cool; it would have closed within a year. We’ve perfected our craft. We are proud of it, very proud.”

For the full profile, click here.

—Megan Hernandez


Nightclub & Bar 2012 Mega-Club of the Year

ROIAL Eco-Friendly Day & Nightclub
Austin, Texas

Walking into ROIAL Eco-Friendly Day & Nightclub, a 16,000-square-foot, multi-level venue with a capacity of just over 1,50Roial0 guests, offers clubgoers a jaw-dropping and unparalleled experience.  Bold cedar planked walls, lit stone columns and knotted twig and branch sculptures add to the organic ambiance that is ROIAL. To stay true to their eco-friendly design and concept, the club is comprised almost entirely of locally harvested, renewable materials, making it an architectural achievement.

Yassine Enterprises debuted ROIAL with a two-part grand opening. Phase I debuted the lower-level lounge area to showcase the club’s intimate side, while Phase II featured the club’s highly anticipated rooftop patio. Although Austin weather averages 80EF, a chic rooftop was lacking in the area, says Laura Garcia, marketing and event director for Yassine. Therefore, ROIAL’s opening set the benchmark for outdoor venues with an original one-of-a-kind nightclub.   

ROIAL not only focuses on structure and design but also invests in clientele and impeccable service, bringing this crown jewel to new heights for elite partygoers. The stunning views of the city from this rooftop haven ensure an unforgettable night.

—Kristen Santoro


Nightclub & Bar 2012 New Club of the Year

The Mint
Scottsdale, Ariz.

Occupying a 7,000-square-foot space that previously was a bank, The Mint encompasses everything that a new ultra-modern venue should possess. The MintFeaturing dark wood, marble seating arrangements, fireplaces and a luxurious 30-foot bar, it is hard not to immerse yourself in the club’s sleek and stylish atmosphere. These custom fixtures are highlighted by a state-of-the-art retractable lighting system that allows The Mint to effortlessly shifts the mood as the night evolves. With these meticulous and carefully considered details, it’s no wonder The Mint has become one of the most successful new clubs of the year.

The original vault door still stands as the venue’s centerpiece, evoking a Hollywood Regency design influence. Audible pleasures progress throughout the evening with eclectic house and pop music fostering energy as big-name DJs perform. All of these elements come together to excite and entice.

The interior is designed to wow its guests, but The Mint also offers the largest patio — 4,500 square feet — in Old Town Scottsdale. Lined with resort-style cabanas, full dining and bottle service, the fresh air is sure to relax patrons’ senses. Guests also can take advantage of one of the private rooms that feature enclosed seating for up to 16 people, full dining and/or bottle service, a flat screen HDTV, access to the main area and a private exit onto the patio. If that’s not enough, not one but four raised DJ lounges overlook the venue’s main floor and are available to accommodate six to eight guests.

Catering to all of its clients’ needs, The Mint encompasses all is that expected from a lavish state-of-the-art venue. It’s a club that guests’ tell their friends about the next day and make plans to visit again.

—Kristen Santoro


Nightclub & Bar 2012 Ultra-Lounge of the Year

Darby Downstairs
New York

Darby Downstairs, a 1,400-square-foot nightlife venture from Butter Group’s Richie Akiva, Scott Sartiano and Ronnie Madra, opened its doors in SpringDarby 2011. Darby Downstairs is more than just a subterranean sister to neighboring eatery, The Darby Restaurant. The basement-level cocktail lounge with a speakeasy sensibility is adorned in brown leather banquets and a gold lacquer honey-comb cage that spans the room’s walls, ceiling and lacquered oak bar. 

Here, Executive Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli showcases another set of tools in her culinary arsenal with a delectable light fares menu that includes classic dishes, such as the French Ham and Gruyere Cheese Panini with Dijon Mustard, the Main Crabcakes and Grilled Beef Sliders with Aged Cheddar and Relish. 

Accompanying chef's menu is a selection of handcrafted cocktails, including the Floozie, the Pretty Boy Floyd and the Tin Lizzy, created by expert in-house mixologists. Created by Darby Downstairs mixologist Justin Crowther, the Strawberry Blonde cocktail recently was added to the menu after its debut and win in the Summer of SVEDKA mixology competition.

The lounge, accessible through a second entrance separate from the upstairs restaurant, accommodates up to 200 people for after-work cocktails or intimate after-hours parties, during which a stylish crowd can enjoy all genres of music spanning from ’70s funk to present-day hip hop. 

—Megan Hernandez


Nightclub & Bar 2012 Resident DJ of the Year

DJ Soloman, Axis Radius
Scottsdale, Ariz.

Not just anyone can set up a laptop and get a crowd on its feet. Making a crowd vibe requires a person who knows and feels the music. Soloman, DJ Solomanresident DJ of Republic Fridays at Axis/Radius, knows just how to turn on an audience. A 10-year veteran of the Arizona dance scene, he has become popular across the Southwest and beyond for his intuitive knowledge of how to rock a dance floor.

Dubbed “Pop Turntablism,” Soloman’s specialty fuses scratching, beat juggling, word play and live remixing with an eclectic mix of funk, soul, hip hop, house and rock tracks. His innate ability to work the turntable was fostered at a young age and has helped him to establish a loyal following of devoted fans over the years.

During Soloman’s nightlife career, he has shared the stage with world-renowned recording artists, such as Tiesto and Paul van Dyk, and opened up for national recording artists Next and P. Diddy for the highly acclaimed Anheuser-Busch “Bud Bowl” block party. With plenty of awards in his back pocket, Soloman is sure to keep any dance floor packed with an energy that is unmatched. 

—Kristen Santoro


Nightclub & Bar 2012 Ongoing Promotion/Party/Event of the Year

Fashion Forward Series, Shade Lounge at W Scottsdale
Scottsdale, Ariz.

Creating a successful ongoing promotion is not an easy task. The key to its success is identifying and pairing the newest trends with the ideal location.Shade Lounge Fortunately, Steve LeVine Entertainment & Public Relations and Shade Lounge were able to do both with their Fashion Forward series. The Shade Lounge is the perfect combination sexy and sophisticated needed to pack the house and bring fashion to life.

A dedicated and committed team is needed to produce constantly changing runway show themes for ever-eager valley fashionistas. One of the most successful Fashion Forward events was an amazing show from bold and flirty designer, Betsey Johnson. The night’s theme was “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not”, featuring hip and modern décor with a country/western twist. Special sound and lighting elements were employed as the models walked the runway, throwing flower petals into the pool. To keep viewers fascinated during intermission, a dance group performed to a mix of hip-hop and dance music.

With the help of top designers, local sponsors, constantly evolving themes and the guests’ need to be the first to see the latest trends, it is no doubt that the partnership between Steve LeVine Entertainment & Public Relations and Shade Lounge was a match made in promotion heaven.

—Kristen Santoro


Nightclub & Bar 2012 Single Promotion/Party/Event of the Year

Electric Daisy Carnival Pre-Party, Playhouse

When an event as well known as the Electric Daisy Carnival is in town, it’s not a matter of “if” you should throw a one-time party in celebration, but Tiesto“when” and “with whom.” The Playhouse took a huge opportunity and turned it into the biggest, most exclusive single promotion of the year with Electric Daisy Carnival Pre-Party: The Intimate Experience featuring DJ Tiësto on June 22, 2011.

Tiësto is known for his diverse mix of sound that electrifies even the most somber crowds. When he is not collaborating with some of the world's most respected artists, he is jet-setting his way around the globe, playing sold-out shows to his adoring fans. This affair was no different.

With only 100 tickets released to the public, the pre-party consisted of a who’s who of Hollywood trendsetters and VIP clients. DJ Tiësto’s over-the-top performance charged the sold-out venue with electricity. Confetti rained from all directions and Champagne bottles popped as the crowd exploded with excitement. Trust us… you wish you were there!

—Kristen Santoro

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