In all the cities in which there are current (and soon arriving) Gents Place Clubs, you’ll find a populace that enjoys good food and a good night out. Lately, we have started to see more “restaurant venues,” where live performances and a full-service restaurant exist side-by-side on a regular basis.
Part of the development of this trend is influenced by the movement towards a more casual atmosphere in restaurants in general. There are fewer of the high-end, dress-coded restaurants on the scene or in development. Beyond that, diners are getting more demanding, driven by desire for quality and care in food preparation. We can see this expressed even in various fast food establishments offering healthier options and advertising that food is “cooked to order.”
With the increase in quality of food across the board, and a more casual atmosphere overall, restaurants have to distinguish themselves to stand out against a backdrop of excellent choices. A restaurant serving great food that also offers ongoing live events capitalizes on the idea that Howard Schultz hammered home to the employees of Starbucks: creating a third place – a place you want to go to hang out and just relax. Far from being just another restaurant, places like this can become destinations on their own.
One of our Gents Place members, Ian Vaughn, originally developed just such a restaurant venue called Lava Cantina, in Baton Rouge, with a recently opened location in Dallas. A death in Ian’s family was the catalyst for the family to grow closer and decide to work together to build something. That something ended up being a rock and roll live music restaurant serving up creole food with a Mexican twist (one example is their chicken enchiladas which are rolled in homemade crepes). The interior is designed to make guests feel like they’re “backstage” at a concert and features original art from local artists.
We’re excited to see the growth of the business of one our members, and we look forward to seeing more such concepts around the country as The Gents Place starts to open in new locations like Chicago.
Do you have a favorite restaurant venue or restaurant concept you enjoy? Share it in the comments below.