Barbara Ellington, Public Affairs Editor
Yet another nightspot became available for citizens of Manchester after its launch week of activities from December 5-8. It's Studio 47, located at 5 Leaders Plaza, along Main Street in Mandeville.
Businesmen Jeremy Chen and Robert Howard have joined forces to liven things up in the town that has earned its "Newlyweds. Nearly dead" reputation.
And the duo is not daunted by the prospect of luring out citizens who retire to their homes as soon as night falls. The Gleaner spoke with Chen about the venture.
Given its history of being a town where no one goes out much at nights even to the movies, why start a club in Mandeville at this time, and with the economy being so bad?
JC: Entertainment globally is a fickle industry, and Mandeville has been known as a 'sleepy' town. However we've done our homework and recognise that the key to sustainability is dynamism and keeping in touch with what the people want. Our plan is to keep it fresh, and cater to the trends.
People need an avenue to blow off steam and enjoy themselves. We're mindful of the economic conditions as well and have tailored our prices to ensure that our patrons can afford to come and have a drink without breaking the bank.
BE: Who are your business partners?
JC: Studio 47 is a subsidiary of a larger entertainment company, which will chart the course of entertainment in our region. Robert Howard, my operating business partner, is no stranger to the business, and lends his experience and connections to our ventures.
We also have a capable and diverse support team, with experience and specific skill sets to drive the business.
BE: Have you had a soft opening, is so, what was the response of the patrons?
JC: The club has been up and running for over a year. However we acquired it a few months ago and set about the task of renovating the establishment, making changes that make the Studio 47 experience much better. The response has been positive and encouraging. From last Wednesday to Saturday, we hosted our official re-launch events. We are looking forward to an excellent start of the Christmas season with our events.
BE: Who are you targeting?
JC: We themed our opening nights to cater to a wide cross-section of people. Wednesday nights will feature '80s and '90s music across the genres. For that 'old-school' vibe that the Generation X 35-47 age group and the 48-65 age group enjoy.
Thursday nights are themed "Q's and Brews" because we have brokered some phenomenal drink deals on brews and spirits that we're rolling out to our patrons- particularly those on a budget. Mandeville is becoming a college town, so on that night, patrons over 18 with college ID will be admitted free.
"Pure NRG" on Friday nights will cater to patrons looking for high energy and popular music. We have the two best DJ's in-house, Don Hype and DJ Harro, who know exactly what our patrons want to hear.
"X Factor" on Saturday nights will be all about the ladies. They will have free admission and special drinks on that night.
We're optimistic about this venture and determined in our goal to change the face of entertainment in Mandeville, and its environs. So expect to see more from Studio 47 in the future.
The week's activities were sponsored by Smirnoff, Appleton and endorsed by FAME FM.