No Vacancy Lounge
|File:No Vacancy Lounge logo.png|
|Address||235 SW 1st Avenue|
|Location||Portland, Oregon, U.S.|
|Closed||February 19, 2019|
No Vacancy Lounge (NVL) was a short-lived nightclub in the Old Town Chinatown neighorhood in Portland, Oregon, United States. "No Vacancy" began as a party hosted at various local venues, starting in 2014. NVL opened in a former McCormick & Schmick's restaurant late 2017, following an approximately $1 million renovation, and the venue was named "Best New Portland Bar of the Year" in a list Willamette Week complied in 2018. The club hosted a variety of acts and events, but was most known for electronic dance music (EDM). Conflict between NVL, a neighboring tenant, and the property manager began almost immediately. In February 2019, the bar closed citing financial burden of an ongoing dispute with the landlord; some scheduled events were moved to other venues.
Description and history[edit | edit source]
Prior to the nightclub's opening, No Vacancy was a party held at the FOMO Media offices in northwest Portland, starting in 2014. The party's success allowed co-founders Rick Sheinin and Billy Vinton, along with partners Nitin Khanna and Jessey Zepeda, to host No Vacancy at other venues, including Doug Fir Lounge, Holocene, and Produce Row. Lake Oswego Review's Sam Stites described the four men as "innovators" seeking to "raise the bar in Portland nightlife".
Sheinin, Vinton, and partners opened No Vacancy Lounge (NVL) in late 2017, in the ground floor of Henry Failing Building, which was previously occupied by a McCormick & Schmick's restaurant. According to The Portland Mercury, the owners "oversaw a dramatic redesign of the wood-paneled restaurant into a modern 350-person-capacity nightclub that attracted top talent [and] drew large crowds", at a cost of approximately $1 million. The interior featured "elegantly designed" Art Deco and high tech production equipment. Writing for Willamette Week, Matthew Korfhage said: "The mezzanined space [looked] like Jay-Z's vision of the Great Gatsby, an amber-lit world of deco lamps, columned archways and backlit liquor that climbs to the ceiling", with "a massive amount of programmable lights, a dramatically lit second-story DJ booth and smoke machines both inside and outside the DJ area".
Two weeks after opening, disputes about provision of lease started between NVL and property management stemming from noise complaints. Conflict between NVL, Melvin Mark Properties, and the architecture firm Walker Macy continued for as long as the nightclub operated. In February 2019, the club confirmed plans to close as the result of financial difficulties and the ongoing dispute. The co-owners have said No Vacancy "might return to its original state as a pop-up party series".
Events[edit | edit source]
Special events included the "Pan-African Gala" commemorating Black History Month, which saw Ndaba Mandela pay tribute to his grandfather Nelson Mandela, and a gay pride event featuring local EDM DJs called "Møthership: Planet LGBTQA". NVL also hosted a 1990s music dance party, and a "celebration of life" for Will Vinton. A Gatsby-themed New Year's Eve celebration. For their final event in the Henry Failing Building, NVL hosted a free party on February 19, 2019. NVL planned to host events scheduled prior to their closure announcement at other venues.
Reception[edit | edit source]
In 2018, NVL appeared as "Best New Portland Bar of the Year" in the Willamette Week's list called "A Survey of the Things WW Has Officially Declared “The Best” In the Past Year" The newspaper said the venue "strikes a careful balance between timeless glamor and a futuristic Technicolor utopia", and called NVL "the most ambitious DJ-forward dance club Portland's seen in years". Willamette Week writers also suggested the interior was reminiscent of The Great Gatsby. Sam Stites of the Lake Oswego Review said the venue opened "to rave reviews and a consistently packed house", and "[filled] a nightlife void". Stites called NVL "a fresh take on the tired nightclub motif" and wrote, "Step inside No Vacancy Lounge and you might feel as if you've gone back in time and traveled to the future all at once."
Jenna Swanberg of Dance Music Northwest said NVL's closure was "devastating for us to hear, as the venue did everything right for their attendees and were selling out weekend after weekend". Furthermore, she wrote, "No Vacancy Lounge always had great energy, bringing in some of the biggest names in house music, providing music lovers, bar jumpers, or dance enthusiasts a safe place to spend their night... So thank you No Vacancy Lounge for bringing something different to Portland. Thank you for bringing a new energy to a city. Thank you for the unforgettable nights spent on the dance floor. We hope the energy continues to the next big idea."
References[edit | edit source]
- Cottell, Pete (May 22, 2018). "No Vacancy Lounge Is the Most Ambitious Club Experience the Rose City Has Seen in Years". Willamette Week. City of Roses Newspapers. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
- Stites, Sam (April 12, 2018). "No Vacancy fills a nightlife void". Lake Oswego Review. Pamplin Media Group. ISSN 0889-2369. OCLC 13819679. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
- Lannamann, Ned (February 14, 2019). "Downtown Nightclub No Vacancy Lounge Announces Closure Due to Conflict with Property Management Company Melvin Mark". The Portland Mercury. Index Publishing. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
- Frane, Alex. "Downtown Club and Cocktail Bar No Vacancy Is Shutting Down Next Week". Eater Portland. Vox Media. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
- "The Top Five Places to Drink This Week". Willamette Week. January 17, 2018. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
- Korfhage, Matthew (January 24, 2018). "No Vacancy Is the Most Ambitious DJ-Forward Dance Club Portland Has Seen in Years". Willamette Week. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
- Singer, Matthew (February 18, 2019). "No Vacancy, WW's 2018 Bar of the Year, Will Close Permanently This Week Following Legal Dispute with Its Landlord". Willamette Week. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
- Hunton, Ryan (December 3, 2018). "Louis the Child Take Over Portland with Three Shows in Two Days (DMNW Review)". Dance Music Northwest. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
- Hunt, Ryan (October 10, 2018). "Fall 2018 Pacific Northwest Event Guide". Dance Music Northwest. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
- "Pan-African Gala: Mandela's Legacy". The Portland Mercury. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
- "Møthership: Planet LGBTQA". The Portland Mercury. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
- "'90s Dance Party". The Portland Mercury. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
- Rogoway, Mike (October 4, 2018). "Will Vinton, Oscar winner and pioneering Portland animator, dies at age 70". The Oregonian. Advance Publications. ISSN 8750-1317. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
- Swanbergon, Jenna (December 23, 2018). "What to Do on New Years Eve in the Northwest". Dance Music Northwest. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
- "A Survey of the Things WW Has Officially Declared "The Best" in the Past Year". Willamette Week. July 10, 2018. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
- Swanbergon, Jenna (March 8, 2019). "Portland's No Vacancy Lounge Closes Its Doors For Good". Dance Music Northwest. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
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- Inside Portland's No Vacancy Lounge by Nick Bowman (July 12, 2018), Dance Music Northwest
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