Why Renovate a Successful Club?
After seven successful years, Temple Nightclub in San Francisco underwent a full-scale renovation and will celebrate their official re-launch on New Year’s Eve. Why? Because having doubled nightly attendance and revenue possibilities of the club’s previous incarnation, Temple Nightclub is on target to once again become one of San Francisco’s nightlife destinations in 2015.
Temple Nightclub – which is part of a lifestyle complex that includes a co-working space, art gallery, rooftop garden, in-house recoding studio and record label, and a café that will debut next year – will reveal a new futuristic style featuring a best-in-class sound and audio visual system and three distinct rooms with complementary programming designed to appeal to an eclectic group of music aficionados.
Nightclub & Bar spoke with Temple Nightclub Owner, Paul Hemming, to understand the challenges faced and accomplishments made when redesigning the nightclub.
What went into the new renovations and added guest experience?
The renovations were extensive. Even though the club was already successful, I really wanted to take it to the next level and give San Francisco the type of venue you would typically find in a city such as Las Vegas. We did a complete makeover, including adding architectural elements such as sky boxes, installing new furniture and designing fresh uniforms. Some of the key highlights of the new space are a lighting sculpture featuring 50,000 individually addressable LEDs to create an intelligent moving light show and a state-of-the-art Void Air Motion sound system in the main room. Our energy-generating dance floor in the Infinity Lounge is one of the hold-overs from the original space – the movement of the club goers powers the LED lighting system in that room. As part of the production we have also added performers who help to create a fully interactive experience.
We gutted the space, ripped the old floor. Went from an all-white room to an all-black room. We rearranged the DJ booth and elevated the stage, along with a new green room. We also built a grand LED tunnel entrance.
I took a drastic departure from traditional nightclub design, which is based on moving lights or video walls behind a DJ booth and transformed entire physical space to a light sculpture. I took a lot of inspiration from burning man, which I attend every year, which is full of immersive LED lighting installations. With the Madrix software lighting control solution we are able to program an infinite amount of lighting scenarios, which created a dramatic change for club goers. No longer are lights in front of you, lights are moving above and all around each patron. In addition we installed two 17w rgb lasers, in past there was only one, as well as additional sniper lights. The addition of the lasers really compliment the overall space
Another aspect of the renovation was training the staff to deliver a level of service to match the new surroundings. We’ve implemented more creative bottle service presentations, and also created new operational systems that increase our overall efficiency.
Who did you work with to design the new concept?
I personally developed the bulk of the design elements and hired two design graduates who help turn sketches to 3D renderings which created a lot of flexibility in the design process. Sanders Construction was in charge of executing the design build and Creative Laser and Visual Dynamix consulted on technical specs and programming of LED lights, lasers, and video wall installations.
What were some of the challengers you faced during the renovation?
The biggest challenge is that everything always takes longer than expected so we had to adjust our opening timeline, but it was important that we took the time to get it right. We wanted to make sure that when we reopened we were really going to wow people with the changes. The concept that we came up with has never been executed on this scale before so it took time to resolve the tech challenges in the installation of the number of LED lights that we have.
We also realized that we needed to make some changes with some of the key team members in order to have a more experienced group that could create the experience we were aiming to deliver. I brought on board Las Vegas consultants Moving Sun and Macro Management who contributed a great deal to the project.
Can you provide some information on the lifestyle complex that the club resides in?
In the first seven years of Temple Nightclub we developed several other businesses, and we took what we learned from that – both successes and failures – to create this new complex which gives us the most creative management of space, from day to night and work to play. The elements include a co-working space, art gallery, the nightclub and next year, a café, along with our music label and production arm Temple Music Group and there are synergies between all of the pieces of the complex.
We are perfecting the formula in this city, and plan to expand to LA in the future.
How do these additional spaces in the complex add to the overall experience?
One example is that our DJ artists will collaborate in the on-site recording studio to create new tracks or exclusive remixes that will be released through the Temple music label, broadcast via the street-level internet radio station or played during the headliner’s set in the club. With our in-house production team we are making high quality videos including interviews and documentaries for our YouTube channel.
In 2015 we will introduce a café that will utilize ingredients grown on our rooftop garden and will serve teams in the co-working space during the day and transition to a place for after-work cocktails and then late-night bites after the club closes.
What were the final results and what can we expect from Temple after the NYE grand opening celebration?
I couldn’t be happier with how the club turned out. We started preview events in just the main room and already are getting so much buzz around the city. Even with only one room open in preview mode our attendance numbers have double what we were doing before we renovated. We have also seen an increase in the sophistication level of our guests, which is turn is resulting in higher spend.
We have 3LAU headlining our New Year’s Eve party, which is a great kick off and sets the stage for what is in store next year. In 2015 there will be a mix of artists, ranging from world-class international talent to emerging local DJs and covering a variety of music genres, and we will add an extra day of weeknight operations to our current Friday/Saturday schedule.