Curious invitees on a not-so-secret guest list poured through the doors of Henry’s Thursday night to get a sneak peak at the NV Lounge, a new bar connected through Henry’s upstairs patio. The “soft opening” of the dance club/lounge featured an open bar from 8-10 p.m. Organizers did fail to mention one tiny detail: the actual bar at NV Lounge wasn’t open yet (though I can assure you, the woodwork is breathtaking), so guests thronged up and down the perilous stairs and wove in and out of the mazelike hallways connecting the two establishments to get their free drinks from one of Henry’s two bars, before returning, drinks in both hands, to the lounge where DJ Natty Heavy was spinning.
Aside from that minor hiccup, NV is impressive. Huge, eye-catching art by Sean Williams commands attention on several walls. Nooks and crannies with plush seating abound (there are even some VIP tables); a smattering of leopard print complements dim, red mood lighting; and a decent-sized statue of an elephant waits to be mounted by some poor drunk college student. The dance floor, most importantly, is a little bigger than Trio’s, but doesn’t feel nearly as cramped, as it’s overlooked by a short balcony from the bar area. The club is spacious yet somehow cozy, with tall sliding doors that open to the patios. A mixed bag of locals, wearing everything from plunge-back dresses to raincoats and boat shoes, were crowded around every corner, inside and out.
Owner Leo Chiagkouris told us there will be drag shows every Thursday at 10 p.m., and — sorry folks — you’ll be paying a cover to dance at NV Thursdays through Saturdays ($5 for ladies, and up to $15 for men). Most surprising was the unveiling of Chiagkouris’ former living quarters connected to the club. He spoke of big remodeling plans, but as of last night, guests toured a room with red shag carpeting, a bed, a hot tub, and a bar inside what the owner is calling the VIP suite and we’re calling the ultimate bachelor pad. His vision includes a personal cocktail waitress and a bed to, err, sleep in, after a night of drinking. A friend of Chiagkouris exclaimed, “It’s the Puff Daddy lounge!” and might have mentioned a price of $1,500 per night. Here’s hoping that Diddy is planning a trip to Charleston soon.