country meets urban
David Taylor came up through the ranks in this industry like so many others before him, eventually owning and operating four separate bars over the last decade.
Today, however, Taylor has moved from club ownership to the music side of the business, creating a new music format that’s sweeping through Texas. Bottles & Boots is a promotion currently in action one weeknight each week in four bottle-service venues from Dallas to Fort Worth to Austin. Collaborating with a DJ in Houston, Taylor creates an urban/ country hybrid of music, mixing the words from country songwriter legends like Bonnie Raitt and Willie Nelson with hip-hop and rap instrumentals from moguls like Jay-Z and Diddy.
“My concept was to come up with a night that would make a Texas venue’s core clientele happy but not impede on the other people who might come in by offering all country-western styled music,” he says. “With different nights, you tend to get different crowds, and when they intermingle, it can discourage one of the types, depending on the music played.”
The mix of urban and country music has kept crowds happy and bottle service orders high at several venues, including Red Fez in Austin and Candleroom in Dallas. At Candleroom, it’s even helped draw in people outside of the core client base, according to Tommy DeAlano, owner of Candleroom and Sunset Lounge. “We’ve seen a steady growth and awareness of the promotion [from patrons] and definitely have been able to see momentum once people understand what they’re hearing and seeing,” he explains. “We see folks that are typical ‘boot scooters’ not sure about the club world who come in and enjoy the night, as well as our mainstay customers converting and actually admitting that they are country fans.”
To entice guests even more, Taylor took the concept one step further and teamed up with Zodiac Vodka. Now, groups of 10 who come in are supplied with a complimentary bottle of Zodiac, courtesy of Taylor, and then they typically stick around and up the bar sales with extra orders.
Taylor explains that he charges for the music format setup, but that he also offers a “total turnkey” product. “I go in and promise the owner of the club, at minimum, 100 people for that night. I do all of the fliers, music and print advertising, and it ends up where it doesn’t cost the owners anything.”