(Owner Bijan Ahmadian stands outside the new Odyssey location on West Hastings Street./Nathaniel Christopher)
The Odyssey Nightclub will reopen at a new location at 686 W Hastings St in time for this year’s Pride celebration, owner Bijan Ahmadian confirms.
“My hope for the new space is to be a community hub that brings people together to watch great performances, to dance to the best music, to engage with one another in meaningful ways, to give back to their community and to finally leave the space happier than when they came in,” he tells Daily Xtra on a tour of the new space, which is in the final stages of renovation.
“We’re starting Pride weekend with the legendary Shower Power on Thursday, and then continuing with a remarkable list of world class DJs, dancers, drag queens and other performers in a stunning brand new space, located minutes from transit,” he says.
The first ticketed event will be a Shower Power performance by porn actor Brent Everett on July 30.
Ahmadian says the new Odyssey will feature amenities from the former Howe Street location, including an on-stage shower, performance space, and even two separate entrances.
(The Odyssey’s brand new sign lit up its new location on W Hastings Street July 1./Nathaniel Christopher)
“When people told me what they wanted back in the Odyssey, the back alley entrance and Shower Power were the two top things,” Ahmadian explains. “Reportedly, we are the only nightclub in Vancouver with a legal back alley entrance. This second entrance will allow us to minimize wait time outside by processing the regular patrons at the back alley faster. We still are limited by occupancy cap, so we recommend people show up early to get in, especially during the Pride season.”
The new shower is situated in a prominent location near the centre of the nightclub just off the central dance floor.
“You can see the showers from almost every angle everywhere from the club,” he says. “We will also install some lights that are specifically designed for Shower Power.”
The central bar is a semi-circle that will be staffed by six bartenders who will each have their own till, sink and drink guns. Ahmadian says this design will minimize lineups and excessive wait times.
“The idea is we want to decrease wait time, whether it’s waiting to enter or waiting to get drinks, because those are the two most frustrating things people say in terms of customer experience when they go into a bar,” he says. “People can line up around this bar and it is large enough to have 30 people shoulder-to-shoulder.”
He says the entire bar has been planned to accommodate the free and open flow of foot traffic and will prominently feature a “peacock walk.”
“We really thought how people will travel around here and we wanted to make it sort of a natural travelling path so people can go around and be seen and also see other people and meet people, then they can go to the quieter lounge areas and have conversations,” he says. “You can actually have a navigating pathway without even pointing to it as people will naturally say, ‘okay I can walk here.’”
Ahmadian says one of the most important features of the new Odyssey will be the performance space, which features state-of-the art audio and lighting systems, an elevated stage that converts to a dance floor when not in use by performers, and a green room, which he says will be the largest at any gay bar in the city.
For more information click on the Odyssey’s Facebook page.