ONE Group hopes for success at Tropicana with Bagatelle concept
Wed, Mar 14, 2012 (5:49 p.m.)
Photo: Christopher DeVargas
Just three months after the opening of Tropicana’s RPM, the nightclub and dayclub that took over the short-lived Nikki Beach, the space has changed hands once again. Hospitality company ONE Group will lease the space to import its Bagatelle concept from New York City, opening both a Bagatelle Beach and Bagatelle Nightclub in the next few months.
With the failure of Nikki Beach (a nightlife concept that also did not originate in Las Vegas) and sister venue Club Nikki in the same exact spot, RPM’s reboot raises an important question: Does every Strip property need a nightlife (or daylife) presence?
The Tropicana is clearly banking on “yes,” but as the old adage goes—the devil is in the details. The most important detail here is that ONE Group generally owns and operates restaurants (look to Cosmopolitan’s STK outpost for an example of the company’s successful dining ventures). In an effort to succeed where Nikki Beach didn’t, the group plans to bring its culinary focus to the new Tropicana venue.
“We’re going to completely change the paradigm of the pool party,” says Jonathan Segal, CEO of ONE Group. “Instead of just coming [here] and drinking and hanging out in a cabana … you can actually come and have a fully inclusive daytime experience.”
Segal says the venue will include beach activities (think: volleyball courts) and a 250-seat outdoor eatery with a Mediterranean-inspired menu. And after the sun goes down, the space will transform to a full-on restaurant, Segal says. Just as STK does with its Magnum Monday industry nights (complete with DJs on their decks), Bagatelle plans to bridge the nightclub-restaurant gap.
As for the types of venues with which Bagatelle will compete, Segal is quick to say he has no intention of taking business from the current dayclub crop.
“They’re too good and too professional and too expert for us to compete with them on a pool basis, and it’s not what we do primarily. We’re primarily a restaurant group,” Segal says. “We’re just changing the dynamic of the pool experience.”
Is Segal right? Could a hybrid venue prove even more successful than the staples of thumping bass, celebrity hosts and big-name DJs? We’ll just have to wait and see.