Fresno Nightclubs Revealed

July 25, 2008 12:41:39 AM PDT
If you've lived in Fresno for a while you know the lifespan of Fresno nightclubs is usually short.Drinks, music, mingling ... All the makings of a club experience ... Crowds of twenty something's line up for a night of partying in Fresno ... Shots, socializing and showing off your best moves.

Lewis Everk has been promoting Fresno nightclubs for 12 years. He's seen plenty soar to success and then just as quickly fade away.

Lewis Everk: "The bottom line is the people have the power. They dictate what's hot and what's not. It's up to the business owners and the promoters to keep them engaged in coming to that location."

Success can be short lived. The Dirty Olive, once a busy bar shut down in June. Patrons say the crowd shifted and eventually the restaurant and bar couldn't make it.

For several years in the 90's ... Wilikers was a Fresno favorite, a rare success. But too many citations for underage drinking and other problems led to its eventual demise.

Many bar owners told me off camera that Fresno Police Department bar stings, DUI checkpoints and city ordinances that force some clubs to close at midnight has hurt business.

Nick Tarjoman owns Roe, it's one of the newest Fresno nightspots. He knows local crowds can be finicky and fickle.

Nick Tarjoman, Owner of Roe: "The current economic climate is such that it doesn't lend itself to a lot prosperity, let's be candid, I mean people are working harder nowadays I mean peoples incomes are limited. And by the same token that means that some people need to make certain concessions. We've done a lot to make people feel comfortable here."

Tarjoman draws the crowds by creating a big city atmosphere. Customers notice.

Ashley Colette: "It's almost like Pure in Vegas. Everything's white on white. They have VIP booths and it's beautiful inside."

Corina Bonilla: "And everyone that comes is very dressy. Everyone looks nice. You can't come in shoes, shoes. Very strict dress code, very strict."

Advertising helps and these days promoters say they are using primarily text messaging and myspace. Still, nothing is a guarantee.

"Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But it's ultimately about creating the excitement, creating the buzz. Making people feel like this is the place that everybody wants to be seen."

Maintaining prime status is not an exact science and keeping business steady is constantly a challenge.

"Things can become very stagnant in a hotspot. And when the next new spot opens up, there's a certain crowd that tends to run to that spot, they flood it, they have a great time. One person doesn't like what happens, they didn't get a free drink, they didn't get in the front of the line, and all of a sudden the crowd turns and they move somewhere else."

Wednesday night in north Fresno, Aqua Shi is packed. Promoters say the midweek crowd has been consistently showing up for 6 months.

Jaime Munro: "Just the ambiance of the whole place is awesome. It's really fun to hang out."

Jeny Hudson: "it's just a good time. All my friends come here It's a good place to get out, close to where we all live and just a good place to all get together."

Both Roe and Aqua Shi have been in business for less than a year. So it remains to be seen if they can stand the test of time.

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