VANCOUVER -- Vancouver nightclubs tend to be one-trick ponies. One space, one DJ, one theme running throughout.
Vincent Alvaro thinks this is a bit boring. So he wants to shake things up with his new club, Five Sixty.
Located in the old A&B Sound store at 560 Seymour, it’s much larger than most local nightclubs – 28,000 sq. ft. spread over four floors. The size means it can have several different themes within the overall space. When it’s going full-tilt, 500 patrons will be able to walk around and choose between three separate mini-clubs, each with its own DJ.
But Alvaro sees it as more than just a hopping late-night space. He wants Five Sixty to be a cultural hub, a place where creative people will meet and mingle.
“We’re focusing on the arts community as patrons,” he explains. “People involved in film, fashion, music, the visual arts, design, that type of thing.”
It took a year and $4 million to convert the building from retail to a nightclub, but the end result is quite something.
The main space is located where A&B used to sell CDs and records. It’s a large open room, with a stage, two bars and no chairs or tables – it’s basically one big dance floor.
If you want to sit and watch the action, there’s a mezzanine up where A&B used to sell high-end stereos. The mezzanine railing is clear plexiglass, so that you have an unimpeded view when you’re relaxing on the room’s assortment of plush club chair-style couches.
The most startling space is the basement, which is vast – 6,000 sq. ft., with 11 foot ceilings. Alvaro decided to turn it into a unisex bathroom with its own bar, DJ and dance floor.
It’s quite a bathroom. Each stall features beautiful tile work, all with a different design. There are even speakers in the stalls, so you don’t have to miss the action when you’re taking a timeout.
“It’ll be loud,” he promises. “This is a party area. People will be partying in the bathroom.”
If you’d rather chill, there is a long, thin lounge on the main floor just off the main dance room. The two rooms are separated by a corridor where up to 200 people can line up indoors, a nice touch in a rainy city.
A lot of thought and detail has gone into Five Sixty. A window from the corridor into the lounge features lace embedded in glass, a very cool effect.
“It was hand-made for us in New York and sent out here,” he said. “You can look into the lounge while you come into the building.”
The lounge bar features a white marble countertop over a cement base. The furniture in the lounge is chic, contemporary and white, while the chandeliers are bordello red, which makes for a nice contrast. For late night snacks a kitchen at the back will be offering “gourmet” pizza and appetizers.
The dance floor in the main space is oak, and a curved wall in the entrance corridor is glass tile. But the fine finishing is mixed with raw concrete, an unusual blend of elegant and industrial.
It’s quite unlike the Granville street clubs, which is what Alvaro wanted.
The club will change throughout the week, depending on what’s happening. Friday and Saturday it will be a dance club, the rest of the week it will book live shows, picking up where Richard’s on Richards left off. DJ Honey Dijon (“one of the hottest DJs in New York”) will open Five Sixty this Saturday.
The main dance space should be pretty wild. Alvaro plans to screen videos by artists like Paul Wong beside the dance floor.