The Velvet Rope to replace Palma
I know what you're thinking: Not another mega club in the Redwood Trust building (200 E. Redwood St.). I thought the same thing.
So many club owners have tried and failed to open a mega club at that spot. The most recent one was Jon Han, whose Palma/Dubai mini-franchise imploded spectacularly.
I was all set to write off the Velvet Rope, the new upscale club in the Redwood Trust building. But then I poked my head inside and met its owner and managing partner, Tracye Stafford.
Stafford is a hip-hop promoter who has brought acts like Lil' Wayne to town. Remember that hip-hop show at DuBurns Arena in Canton that ended early a couple years ago? That was her ...
Stafford has been throwing shows occasionally at the building for the past few months. She recently decided to make it a dedicated club and concert venue. The grand opening should be in July.
With its purple walls, paintings and new carpeted floors, The Velvet Rope has a cool, comfortable feel. I don't know how much money Stafford put into the place, but from the looks of it, she spent a lot on renovations.
Stafford knows about all the failed clubs that came before her, and she knows how hard it can be to get people out to a high-end joint in this city. She also knows how important security is -- especially at hip-hop shows, which have a history of violence.
If Stafford focuses enough on bringing in big names in hip-hop, if she makes sure there is proper security, if she can consistently fill the place and if her rent payments aren't too high, she might be able to swing it -- for a couple years.
That's a lot of ifs. I'll add one more: If anybody can do it, I'll bet she can.
(Sun archive photo)