The Side Bar Nightclub & Lounge Development Project – Gaslamp, San Diego


The Side Bar Nightclub & Lounge Development Project – Gaslamp, San Diego

Downtown San Diego has quickly become a desired destination for good eats, delicious drinks, and nightlife entertainment. New bars, restaurants, lounges, and nightclubs are popping up all the time, and competition is as fierce as it’s ever been. These days, it’s rare to find a venue that has withstood the changes and demands of the Gaslamp’s growing popularity, and this is especially true for nightlife venues. It’s no longer enough to be hip with good music and a dance floor – you have to have something special to gain the affections of party-goers.

Side Bar first opened its doors in 2005, and was the first to offer bottle service in the San Diego Gaslamp District. In 2009, Side Bar underwent it first transformation, reinventing itself from a retro-style nightclub to a dark and sultry nightclub and lounge. Décor tested the limits of sexual innuendos, with nude photos on the walls, soft-core porn on the TVs, and red leather couches, further instigating the “come hither” vibe of the dance floor. Voted Best Nightclub and Lounge in San Diego, Side Bar continued to stay at the top of its game with the new look, attracting locals and tourists alike while setting the bar for champagne shows, Industry events, and unpredictable parties.

In 2018, the San Diego based hospitality company RMD Group decided the Gaslamp staple needed another facelift. They called upon the RMD Group Development team to take on the renovations. In the nightlife industry, nightclubs seem to have a shelf life, so staying fresh and ahead of trends is imperative to keeping the attention of your guests. The challenge with the new Side Bar project was to maintain the attitude and personality of the brand that everyone loved while also developing a new environment and addictively exciting experience.

The development project started with redesigning the layout of the venue. In past lives, Side Bar never had a designated dance floor. So to up the energy and create more of a dance-club vibe, the DJ booth was moved from the corner of the room to smack dab in the middle, giving life to party while spotlighting DJs. A bar was moved to make space for the newly transformed booth and bottle service tables, creating an ideal space for entertainment and champagne shows.

RMD Group understood that in order to stand out from the crowd, you have to offer more than a one-dimensional experience. Like most RMD Group venues, having a space that is multi-purposeful is essential to the success and longevity of the business. Therefore, a crucial piece of the Side Bar renovation project was born: the Lounge. Side Bar Lounge existed before the recent upgrades, but the focus had always been more on the nightclub side. It was finally time for food and craft cocktails to shine! Apart from the expansive and beautifully designed bar, the “Lounge side” features plush seating and group-friendly coffee tables, inviting guests to have a seat and stay awhile. A dangerously delicious menu was developed, offering shared bites and craft cocktails…none of which was meant to be rushed through. The concept was designed to smoothly transition the early-evening lounge vibe into a wilder and exhilarating nightlife atmosphere later in the night.

The interior design of Side Bar had to authentically fit the Lounge/Nightclub attitude. Part playful and glamourous, part edgy and dramatic, Side Bar flaunts an eye-catching floral ceiling, hidden (naughty) messages, and enough sparkle and shine to keep you enamored for hours. Though racy and feminine, the new look is charming and fascinating enough to woo the designer pants off of anyone!

Find out more about the new and improved Side Bar.

To find out how you can improve your existing venue, or to turn your bar, restaurant, or nightclub dream into a reality, visit RMD Consulting.