Faster than you can say, "I'd like bottle service for a party of four," upscale Downtown West Palm Beach nightclub Monarchy is reopening its doors. The posh Clematis Street venue is throwing itself a shindig this Saturday, with high-energy house DJ duo Salvatore and John Paul behind the decks.
Just in mid-April, we reported the upscale hangout was shutting down, due to unpaid rent. At the time, an anonymous source informed us that there were several groups vying to purchase the club. "It presents a rare opportunity for the right party to purchase a turnkey nightclub at the height of its popularity, right in downtown West Palm Beach," said the unidentified party, who was involved with one of the groups attempting to acquire the 6,000-square foot venue.
He was not exaggerating. Less than eight weeks later, Monarchy is back, revamped, and ready to section off your next party of four in the VIP section. Monarchy's new owner is Randy Epstein, co-founder and CIO of Host.net, a company that specializes in managed network infrastructure services (you will have to ask your IT specialist pal what that means exactly).
Epstein knows what he is doing in the network infrastructure world -- his company was named Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce's Business of the Year in 2013 -- but what kind of nightlife experience does this computer wiz have? Epstein previously owned West Palm Beach rock club Mr.G's, which he eventually turned into I Rock. Based on Forrest Hill and Military Trail, the venue untimely suffered from its less-than-desirable location.
Monarchy however, is right smack dab in the middle of the action on Clematis. Epstein was a regular at the club and when he heard the venue was up for grabs, he was chomping at the bit to buy it. "He thought the room was amazing and the real estate, fantastic, but felt it wasn't being utilized in the best fashion," said Monarchy's new manager Jody Young.
New Times had a chance to speak with the music business veteran yesterday to hear more about what the new ownership has in store for the classy house music haunt.
Young, who previously worked with Metropolitan Entertainment, (which promoted tours of such rock giants like U2, Bon Jovi, and the Grateful Dead) detailed Epstein's vision for Monarchy. "We want to keep the Monarchy name and spirit alive, while ridding the club of all the negativity that circled it during its last few months," said Young. He tells us Monarchy had its share of issues with the city, namely underage drinking and drug dealing. A new mix of team members have been put into place, including an overhauled security team to counteract the club's previous problems. Not all the staff is new, some of the popular bar tenders have been brought back, according to Young.
"Clematis has been lacking the upscale nightclub experience that Monarchy has the potential to be," added Young. "Our focus is not going to be about jamming in as many people as possible, but making sure our customers enjoy themselves." Young and company want to create an environment where patrons can dress up, enjoy great music, and mingle. "Our focus is creating an upscale environment where customers can unwind and have fun."
As an example of the overhauled Monarchy, Young points out his crew has swapped out generic soda equipment and brought in Coca-Cola instead. "When people pay $10 for a top shelf drink, there is no reason to mix it with a generic soda."
Young says the venue will be expanding to five nights a week of entertainment after the summer season. As for the near future, Fridays will be open format nights, Saturdays dedicated to house music, and on Wednesdays, Monarchy is bringing back Krash!, a popular midweek dance party for those in the industry.
"We plan to roll out slowly and make sure people know we are back." For this Saturday night's re-opening, Young says his crew doesn't know if 100 or 1,000 people are going to turn up, but spirits are high.