In Los Angeles, as well as everywhere else, the wait for final inspections dictates opening nights of new venues as much as construction crews. Located in the old Element space, Sound, a new offering from Muse Lifestyle Group will be seen and heard at end of December.
Sound, courtesy of the brilliant iCrave Design's Lionel Ohayan and a Funktion One sound system, will ensure Sound will live up to its name. Steve Lieberman will also provide all the visual bells and whistles that enhance the overall guest experience.
Rob Vinokur, Muse's COO says “SOUND is not a place to simply people watch, it’s a place for an exclusive group of tastemakers, industry insiders, celebrities and music fans to shed their stresses and have the time of their lives.”
Sound is 8,000 square-feet with a massive sunken dance floor and oversized booths. State of the art projection screens with content from V Squared will entertain within and outside the club. Local artists will get a chance to strut their stuff on the giant screens. There is a quarterly rotating “street food” menu from local and celebrity chefs. Although the bar must close at 2am as is the norm in LA, Sound has a rare 4am license for dancing.
This is not Rob Vinokur’s or Muses first trip to the rodeo. Muse also runs the highly successful nightspot Playhouse. Between Rob and Partners Kobi Danan and Mickayel Israelyan, they have more than 100 years of experience and a proven track record of success in launching and operating some of the most sought-after restaurant and nightlife destinations nationwide including: Playhouse Nightclub, Tantra, Chi Dynasty, Romanov, Chaos, Tengu, IVAR, B’Lo, Republic, Bliss, and many more.
Nightclub Confidential caught up with Rob Vinokur to discuss what will soon be their newest venue - Sound.
Nightclub Confidential (NCC): Naming a place is very difficult. How did you settle on this great name? Can you tell us about the process and the meaning?
Rob Vinokur: We knew that we wanted the name to be branded around music so we asked our staff to come up with some names. Most of the names they came up with had the word sound in it, so when I sat down with my partners the word Sound always stood out....and then Sound was born.
NCC: So who does the sound, at Sound, and how is it special?
Vinokur: The sound system was designed by Dan Agne from Function One Sound, I have to say they really did an incredible job. The sound is so perfect that even when it's super loud you can perfectly speak to someone next to you.
NCC: Tell us about the 3D mapping you incorporated and the other visuals and delights.
Vinokur: The lighting was designed by Steve Lieberman who I have been friends with for over 10 years and he's the best lighting designer, in my eyes, in the world. Steve brought in Vello Virkhaus of V Squared Labs who he works with on video projections and video content. Vello took what he does at large music festivals and concerts and built a 3D mapping video system within the three walls of the club. He can change the entire look of the club with his visuals.
NCC: Lionel Ohayan and his iCrave firm are your designers. Tell us about what he was tasked to do and the results.
Vinokur: Lionel and I have been friends for over 20 years and he has designed every nightclub I have ever owned or have been a part of. We asked him to create a venue based on Music, Art, Fashion and Food and the team at Icrave put together an incredible package using wood and steel. All of our hand rails are from Railroad tracks from the 1920 from the Denver railroad.
NCC: You already operate Playhouse. What steps do you take to not compete with your other venue?
Vinokur: We have an incredible marketing team. When we decided to do another club, we made sure it did not compete with Playhouse. Playhouse is a large Vegas style nightclub and Sound is an underground music and art venue. Plus we are not open on the same days during the week and have completely different programming that caters to different crowds.
NCC: Tell us about Muse and the other properties under your banner.
Vinokur: Muse Hospitality is a company I started with my partner Mike Israyelyan in 2008, it's a hospitality company that owns and manages different restaurants and nightclubs - everything from a pizza place to a Chinese restaurant, a Mexican restaurant to a Russian style supper club.
NCC: You’re trying to open for the holidays. Besides the obvious New Year’s Eve revenues, why is opening in December better than January?
Vinokur: Opening in December for the holidays gives you the ability to book a lot of corporate events and brings in great people to the club and showcases the club to people that would not go to clubs often
NCC: Tell us about the sound experience, your patrons and what they will enjoy.
Vinokur: I think the patrons will get an incredible journey through music, art, fashion and food that they don't get in clubs today.
NCC: Playhouse brought big DJ's to a relatively small venue. Can you explain what the music format will be like at Sound?
Vinokur: I think the direction we are looking for at Sound is on new talent, lots of record label parties and just things that you don't hear at every other club in the city. I believe this will be the place that all DJs will want to play.
NCC: How important is food to the overall experience? Is there a stigma about food in clubs?
Vinokur: I think the food portion is very important to us, we want people to experience everything while their partying at Sound. We will have local chefs curate a different menu every three to four months. We will also be using the venue during the day as an art gallery, there are very few art galleries in Hollywood, so we have decided to offer our space to local artist and have them show off their artwork.