Night clubs get more than a spring cleaning |

Night clubs get more than a spring cleaning

ANNA BLOOM, Of the Record staff

The Sidecar emerges from vacation this weekend, its patio swept for warmer months, with extra seating. The Motherlode Canyon Band is booked for this Saturday night the first act in two-and-a-half weeks and will benefit from an upgraded sound system and a refinished dance floor.

Nightspots this spring took advantage of the shoulder season. Usually a time for servers and managers to take a surf trip to Costa Rica or a visit home after a busy ski season, private clubs like Cisero’s Nightclub and The Spur Bar and Grill instead rolled up their sleeves for some serious work.

For the first time in its history, The Spur Bar and Grill closed its operations down entirely. Aaron and Susie Hofmann’s smoke-free private club has been under construction since April 15.

The Spur plans to reopen with a new stage, new sound equipment, new booths and a new kitchen to serve a brand new "Cowboy Cuisine" menu.

The Spur Manager Casey Metzger says the changes are meant to enhance the club’s character, not re-invent it.

"We’re trying to capitalize and make it a more dynamic offering," Metzger explained. "We want to be considered more of a dining destination. We want people to enjoy their whole night here come in and dine, and stick around for an entire evening."

The Spur has replaced its former stage and dance floor with a dining area that allows the bar to serve up to 80 patrons at once, according to Metzger. Bands will now perform at the opposite side of the bar, near the entrance.

The Spur used to share a chef, menu and kitchen with 350 Main, its next-door neighbor, which made the line of communication between patron, server and chef quite long, notes Metzger.

350 Main Executive Chef Michael LeClerc who designs new American brasserie dishes like Black Sesame Sea Scallops is also behind the new menu at the Spur which features herb and Asiago whole wheat biscuits and gravy, yam fries, and jalapeno cheese "Texas" toast.

"We’ve been successful with the nightclub aspect, but our dining was a too-well-kept secret," explains Jeff Ward, the general manager who oversees 350 Main and Spur Bar and Grill.

Large entrees will be served through the early evening, with smaller plates available for late night snacks.

Cisero’s Nightclub has also remodeled with versatility in mind for games, dinner and dancing.

According to Cisero’s Ristorante and Nightclub General Manager Ryan Warnock, when the club closed down for two weeks in April, it added seven new flat screens, a new pool table, an upgraded sound system, tables sturdy enough to dance on, poker tables for Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments, and new hardwood floors. The floor nearest the club’s stage additionally features six new music-interactive lasers, which project light synchronized to the sound system.

Cisero’s Nightclub has also changed its menu offerings to serve the identical items available to diners upstairs in its restaurant.

Warnock says the cost of improvements amounted to $70,000.

"The idea was to make every place a dance floor, so we removed the carpeting and installed a better sound system," he explained. "People had been dancing on the walls before, so we wanted to extend the dance floor to the back. We really have a kind of cavernous environment, and the floor really lightens the place up."

Warnock says most of the changes are small, but it’s the subtle changes, like the way a club smells and feels, that make a difference.

"We have to compete with iPods and MTV we have to give people a reason to leave their house," he explained. "We wanted to create a space for everybody and all kinds of ages."

In the near future, Warnock plans to incorporate four new television screens for music videos and slide shows of photographs of its club goers.

"Nobody’s the best forever," he says. "You always have to work at it."

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