Same Song, New LocationAugust 6, 2009 By: Bryan Bass
Mike Goodwin has announced that his popular Las Vegas upscale hip-hop club, Poetry Nightclub, will depart its embattled Caesars Palace’s Forum Shops location for an undisclosed location elsewhere on the Strip. While Goodwin wouldn’t get into specifics on where his new digs may be located, he did tell Nightclub Confidential that the goal is to keep the Poetry moniker as well as the focus on upscale hip-hop and that his potential new landlord has an open mind and demonstrated open arms to the concept. He estimates that, should things move on the current timeline, the new venue opening is three to four months away. “Obviously moving parts need to be created,” he says.
Poetry Nightclub, formerly operated as OPM Nightclub, is still hip-deep in a discrimination lawsuit against Caesars and Forum Shops operator Simon Property Group. Goodwin noted that the lawsuit was not the direct cause for the move — plans were in place to eventually move anyway — but he indicated the prospect of the move was a good thing. “It is simply impossible to operate under these conditions,” an upbeat Goodwin says. “The lawsuit continues because the damages and the financial harm have been done and documented over the last several years. We are looking forward to our day in court in front of a judge and jury.”
The main reason for the sudden move is once again related to ultra-famous celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, who has closed the Chinois location with which Goodwin shared a liquor license and operating agreement. “They tell me it’s a financial decision and cannot be avoided,” Goodwin shared. With Puck out of the picture, Poetry Nightclub was suddenly left out in the cold with seemingly uncooperative landlords and an intensifying list of demands, requirements and stipulations under which to operate. Goodwin plans on replicating the Poetry Nightclub offerings but adds that it will be “bigger and better” and will help the hip-hop-focused venue continue its successful run.
“It’s important that people understand that we are not leaving this location because we did anything wrong or had any violations. We’ve operated for six years without a citation,” Goodwin states earnestly. “We strived to run a clean and crisp operation and we achieved that. When it comes down to it, we will leave here with our pride and integrity intact,” he continued, before switching gears to his staff and customers. “We could not have done it without the tremendous staff and loyal customers who supported us throughout the years, despite the shortcomings of everything with the mall and the property. We greatly appreciate those people.” Even as he waves farewell to the digs that made him the most successful independent operator in Las Vegas, Goodwin is eager to quickly point out, “The future is bright indeed!”