While holidays are generally popular with a certain set of bar and nightclub goers, the day before those events are becoming more popular for owners. As Thanksgiving approaches, owners are focusing on Wednesday — a slower night that is getting a major boost from holiday revelers.
Like New Year’s Eve and Halloween, Black Wednesday is becoming one of the biggest bar nights of the year, says Shreyas Shah, who oversees the marketing and entertainment for Chicago-based supper club Untitled. “It’s just a big, big night."
In fact, Untitled is celebrating Black Wednesday with two events: the $25 per ticket Beaujolais Nouveau French tasting followed by its weekly Unbridled event.
The Beaujolais phenomenon is huge in France where red wine is fermented for only a few weeks before it’s released on the third Thursday in November, often a week before Thanksgiving. Untitled will be hosting the event a week later. Additionally, because Untitled focuses on 1920s and 30s French culture, each event has a distinct French theme. The wine tasting will include a Parisian cabaret component, and the Unbridled event will be French themed with can-can dancers, French-focused music and French vaudeville.
Untitled is certainly putting a “cool, different and unique” spin on Black Wednesday, says Shah. Other nightlife venues may bring in a big-named DJ for the night, but Untitled’s event is “unique to the marketplace, which is something we strive for,” he says.
That’s the competitive advantage Untitled has over the other bars across the street. “We do things differently,” he says. Additionally, by capitalizing on an early crowd with the 7 p.m. wine tasting and the late-night Unbridled crowd, both events “are a chance to be busy from the start of the event at 7 p.m. through 2 a.m.,” he says.
Although Shah quips that “everyone likes to eat Thanksgiving meals slightly hungover,” he admits that it’s a lost opportunity to not capitalize on Thanksgiving Eve.
“Our goal is to have a Wednesday night comparative in sales to a weekend night,” he adds.
Days including Black Wednesday, the Sunday before Labor Day and the Sunday before Memorial Day are big days for the club and are a significant driver of sales. These holidays are “great opportunities for exposure, a great opportunity to drive sales on slow nights like Sundays and Wednesdays,” Shah says. “They’re very profitable!”