The owner of Queenstown strip bar Club 88 – which has just turned one – has a message for the naysayers.
Club 88 owner Adam Nagy says he’s rushed off his feet, working seven days a week.
That’s in response to one bar veteran who last year predicted that within week’s of last February’s opening Nagy would be twiddling his thumbs and wondering where all the customers were.
“If I had enough time to sit down and twiddle my thumbs I’d be a happy man,” Nagy says, sitting at the bar of his Shotover Street nightspot which he prefers to call an adult entertainment venue.
The club celebrated its first birthday last Saturday and Nagy says they’ve invested since opening 12 months ago.
A fourth separate room for private dances has been added and a sideline business Otago Toybox – which hosts adult toy and lingerie showcase parties – has also been kick-started.
Club 88 also organises male and female strippers for hen’s nights and stag dos, with Nagy usually overseeing the call-outs and doing security.
The Australian says he spends Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights at the club, often finishing at 4am and is up by 10am to deal with suppliers.
“I think that’s why it works quite well – I’ve seen a lot of bosses who get a whole heap of staff so they don’t have to do any work … but they have all these staff to pay and at the end of the day they have to pay all these bills and there’s no money left.”
On any given night, Nagy says they’ll employ a manager, two other bar staff, security and upwards of five dancers. On busier Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights he aims for six to eight dancers.
Asked if they’re making money yet, Nagy pauses and then says: “We’re still open.”
The biggest challenges are getting enough sleep and finding competent people to look after the dancers, Nagy says.
“There’s a lot of people out there who love talking about how good they are at their job and actually they’re terrible at it.
“But one of our biggest challenges has been to show people it’s not a sleazy venue … changing people’s perception of what an adult entertainment venue is.
“Our reputation is pretty good so girls do come to us. I think people are happier in here. We’re a little family, we’re a nice adult entertainment venue. We actually care about our girls – if they are not here, we worry about them and that sort of stuff.”