I had the privilege to check out the new Club Four Four at the Louisville game. Above is a pic from the inside looking at the court.
Here are my random thoughts:
-Coat check = AWESOME. No more having to worry about where to put your coat or having someone spill beer on it. Almost worth the price of admission.
-No private bathroom = sucky. How can you not have an ultra VIP potty? I expected a mens room where you went pee into a wall water fall like at Tao.
-Food = yuck. Poor selection, small portions, and pricey by NYC standards. I mean $16 for 3 sliders? No wings or mozzarella wedges?
-I tipped and both the waitress and bartender accepted but when I got the food bill it said no tipping, which is weird. Ultra VIPs dont penny pinch. And dont you want your workers to be happy and have a reason to work hard?
-Staff = too old. They were nice but a place for ultra VIPs should have failed model/actresses as staff. If there are none in CNY then import them from Europe.
-Service = good and bad. I got my sliders in like a minute. That was great. What wasnt great was that I got my drink well after. And going to the bar after the game took a awhile as well. Definitely not the NYC style pace. They may need a bigger and more experienced staff.
-The place was kinda empty. Now this may have to do with it being the weekend. That is more family time at games while mid week is more adult time. Also being Valentines day may have hurt. Not to mention it was Sunday and you cannot sell beer till noon. But I think it is the cover charge. There is plenty of room for more people. The $1500 per person for a year or $500 per season is just too much. You dont want everyone to have access but you also dont want it to be empty. I think if they cut the price in half it would be perfect.
-It seemed like half the people there were kids. Seriously what kinda ultra VIP lounge has kids there? It should be adults only. This should not be a family place. That is what the Orange Club tent is for. Sure you may lose some customers but I think you add to the atmosphere and keep the people who will drink ($) coming back. Kids do not add revenue.
-Speaking of the OC tent I wonder if that will be phased out or limited. It really is competition for Club Four Four. Why pay a crazy cover charge at the Club when you can go to the tent and get free food, drink, and beer? It would probably be a good idea to move the free apps into the Club and remove beer from the tent. Limit the tent to free soda, water, popcorn, nachos, and Dome dogs. It is something nice for the donors but not so nice to draw people away from Club Four Four.
-I liked the look of the place. I think I would add more lounge chairs as there is plenty of space. Also the music was ok and not too loud.
-The TVs had ESPN on. Before the game it was SportsCenter so no biggie. But after it was bowling. Someone needs to be on top of that and change the channel. And maybe add a few more TVs.
See for yourself:
Overall I liked the place. Although I thought that atmosphere was kinda dead. That needs to be fixed. Can it? Or is Club Four Four not a right fit for CNY? That and the crazy cover charge need to be worked out. If it is then I think it will be a success.