Power Plant from Rocks
Bar Rescue was called so I got to work re-designing a bar in Laguna Niguel called Rocks. It was once a cigar bar but when the legal loophole finally closed up they were forced to lose the advantage they had over all other non smoking bars and thus business dropped too. The exterior was connected to other small businesses in a strip mall but the name of the place was the smallest part of the sign. Inside the walls were deep burgundy and the worn out smelly carpet made you feel sticky when you stood on it. The bar itself matched the walls and on the edge were name plates of previous customers. This automatically made a new customer feel like they were trespassing on someone else’s turf and the staff just reinforced the head trip. The DJ booth was on a raised platform beside the dance floor and consisted of a table draped with table clothes, a frosted glass sneeze guard, and whatever equipment the current DJ lugged in. Video games were scattered through out the bar and the pool tables were set very close to one another. There was an abandoned kitchen hood gutted of its fryer, gas lines, and sink. It had become an unused storage space visible to patrons and stuffed with broken tables and chairs. Above it was lettering larger than the bar’s lightbox name advertising a local drinking club. Jon Taffer asked me to create a “caution high energy” vibe to attract a younger clientele and encourage a larger dancing scene. Elation lighting and MGR helped out with cool effects, Collin Taylor did the new practical lighting installation, and my team battled to remove carpet and glue and refinish the concrete main floor and wood dance floor. By relocating the DJ booth to the abandoned kitchen area and dedicating the raised platform to nice booth seating, I was able to create a better focal point from the entry door that conveyed what the venue was about within the first three steps of entering the bar. My team and I enhanced energy for college-aged clientele per Jon, created a better DJ booth for music, cleaned and arranged the bar for better delivery of spirits, and improved the space and entry for dancing. The exterior was dressed to attract attention with a steam effect, great architectural heaters, and an entry door that prepared the customer for a power plant themed experience.
While renovating this bar I lost a very close friend. She was all about energy, dancing, love, and life. I marked one of the stage benches reserved for her so she would always have a VIP seat. I love you E.