When SBE opens its first club in Las Vegas on December 31, it won’t be just a new nightlife player in town; it also becomes one of the biggest. With 32 venues coast to coast (including Greystone Manor, The Colony, and The Abbey in Los Angeles), SBE’s portfolio casts an impressive shadow. The irony, of course, is that until now SBE hasn’t owned a single club on the Strip. That all changes this New Year’s Eve, when Hyde Bellagio opens its doors. “We’re really, really focused on hitting this one out of the park,” says SBE founder, chairman, and CEO Sam Nazarian.
An ultra-lounge by day and chic nightclub by night, Hyde Bellagio comes from SBE’s most prominent nightlife brand, with locations on the Sunset Strip, at the Staples Center, and at Mammoth Mountain (and next summer, on South Beach). You’ve likely heard of it, whether you’ve partied with the stars in SoCal (Prince, Gerard Butler, will.i.am, and Drew Barrymore are among SBE’s A-list regulars), or read about it in the tabloids.
Nazarian, 36, says Hyde is the kind of place that is “just as fun at 5 PM on a Tuesday as 3 AM on a Saturday.” The locale already has that mojo—Hyde is opening in the former home of Fontana Bar, with its famous views of the fountains that made it a hot spot afternoon to night.
In a world of mega-venues that weigh in at more than 60,000 square feet of pool clubs, lounges, and restaurants, Hyde’s 10,000 square feet will be a stand-out quality. “The DNA is different,” says SBE’s head of nightlife, Costas Charalambous, “from design to programming to service.” Nazarian says that at SBE’s core is repeat business, both local and non-local—after all, there is now no need for his LA fans to spend their money elsewhere when they weekend in Sin City. Stellar customer service and taking care of familiar faces are more plausible in this intimate locale. (Hyde’s capacity is 714, while its competitors easily turn five times that every night.)
Unlike many Vegas nightclub heavyweights, Nazarian didn’t get his start as a promoter. “We owned 12 hotels before we opened our first club,” he says. “Real estate allowed me to understand the importance of locations.” With the romance of the Bellagio fountains at its doorstep, Hyde seems to have hit the Vegas jackpot. “It was worth the wait,” Nazarian says.
In town, SBE did go the hotel route first: It owns the Sahara, which will soon embark on a massive remodel and give way to an all-new hotel/casino concept, including a sprawling beer garden and 21,000-square-foot nightclub. But first, Nazarian must survive his first New Year’s in Vegas. “It’s going to be a very special opening,” he says. “Expect everything.” Hyde Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S.