When entrepreneur Francois Safieddine started thinking about Chloe, his new venture that opens Thursday, July 21, in the former Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, 1445 Market Street, he researched what the nightlife crowd was looking for downtown and wasn't already being offered. "What my research led me to is there was a demographic that wanted a true lounge concept not just a bar or just a club, but a social meeting place with portion-conscious Mediterranean cuisine and a design created to enhance the lounge experience," Safieddine says. "Other components that were in demand were sliding-glass doors that open up to a patio, and a discotheque featuring the latest in technological advances. Service and attention to detail were high on the list of requests."
To fill that list, Safieddine came up with the idea of Chloe, a fictitious, jet-setting socialite whose favorite food, favorite design trends, favorite art and favorite music are featured in the 6,600-square-foot space that's divided into Chloe's Mezze Lounge, Garden and Discothèque. Chloe is the eleventh concept that Safieddine has introduced over the past two decades; his Lotus Concepts group also includes Suite Two Hundred, 24K and Oak Tavern. And with every venue, he says, the goal is to deliver a new product within the Lotus Concepts family.
"I think what really sets Chloe apart from Suite Two Hundred and 24K is the Mezze cuisine concept executed by chef Jose Guerrero," he explains, "as well as the outside patio and courtyard component that is the first of its kind, with a high-top fire pit communal table, cabana-style U-shaped couch seating and a fountain. I don't think the public understands yet how big the patio and courtyard is at Chloe, and it will be a nice surprise to guests." But the space inside pays as much attention to detail. "I anticipate the guests really appreciating some of the other features, like the main under-lit onyx bar, custom visuals, plush couch-style seating, exotic snakeskin wallpaper and the fireplace," Safieddine adds.
He envisions Chloe as a space where people who live or work downtown can find both a great lounge and a great place to eat. "I see the crowd as being defined by a more sophisticated palate," Safieddine says. The menu features Greek, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, including flatbread pizzas, calamari, lamb sliders, shrimp kabobs, fettoush and Caprese salad; there's also a specialty cocktail list offering sangria, housemade limoncello and arancello (blood-orange limoncello).
Later in the evening, Chloe will shift into party mode when the discotheque kicks in. A twenty-foot LED wall will showcase visual entertainment mixed nightly by a VJ, and a resident DJ will spin the same kind of music you'd hear in Las Vegas, Miami or Ibiza, Safieddine says like Top 40, house and mash-ups. On the dance floor, twenty bottle-service tables face the DJ booth, creating a center stage for the action.
Ruth's Chris was never like this.
Club scout: Three big spaces have recently gone dark. The music has died at Rhythms Bar & Grill, which opened last year in the former home of the Trail Dust Steak House at 7101 South Clinton Street in Centennial. Twisted Olive, which opened in November 2009 at 8270 Northfield Boulevard in the Northfield Shops at Stapleton, has also dried up. And Mind Benders, the black-light-themed club that opened in the former Brickhouse Nightclub space at 9262 West 58th Avenue in Arvada in March, has already turned out the lights.