After many in the nightlife got to know the un-knowable Vane Russo and Nathan Nutter, they were taken from us, creating a void in both personal-style icons and late night where-to options when The Edition shut down.
This past weekend the nightclub at The ModernHonolulu quietly opened its doors in preparation for the December 1st Grand Opening. News spread like wildfire. Although there are many improvements planned (don’t expect those silver couches to stay silver and sprinkled with stiletto-punched holes) not much had been implemented. The guy hired to turn a disaster back into a hot spot is nightclub doyen Matt Bendik from LA. After chatting with him, it was pretty easy to gather that this guy gets it. He understands that “here” is not “there.” He’s utilizing 90% of the same staff. He’s got the same resident DJs. The changes he’s planning to implement are vast, but not zealous.
“The first impression I had of Hawaii was its raw beauty and deep spirituality of its people,” he said. “As I discover more and more of the island, I am realizing how unique and special Hawaii is. The biggest obstacle I projected going into this was hiring the right staff that would be capable of providing the highest level of service on the island. I was pleasantly surprised by how amazing the existing staff was and decided to keep the team in place with only a few minor tweaks. The staff has made it possible for me to re-open the club in only six days on the island and turn my focus on the bigger picture tasks like branding, re-design, and music/event programming. Without them this would not have been possible.”
Running the look of the club at the velvet ropes is Los Angeles DJ Kristina Welker. After one weekend working the front, Kristina already noticed the biggest difference between LA and Honolulu: “The people,” she said. “Everyone here is so nice and people seem to go out to have fun, not to show off and be on the scene. A lot of LA nightlife and life in general is all about that. The clientele I have encountered so far has been really cool, down to earth and fun. It’s a lot of people dancing and socializing, not just sitting around staring at one another. We want to take the energy we already have and take it to the max once we really launch.” People who braved the soft opening weekend might have noticed they are pushing table reservations for entry. A capacity of less than 150 sort of limits large groups from entering without one. Starting at $200 and going up to infinity with magnum bottles available, this is really the only way to guarantee admission. Ways to guarantee no entry? A bad attitude. And the dress code, of course. “I love classy,” said Welker. “Nothing too crazy, but girls and boys, leave the flip flops at home. No print t-shirts and rhinestone belt buckles please!”
The biggest question I had (besides the name) was the light bulbs. Guess what? They’re staying!