A new late-night club opened its doors Thursday night on one of the busiest weekends of the year.
Duo, 129 S. Pugh St., opened at 9 p.m. last night to a pair of guys and velvet ropes. While Duo did not advertise their opening night to full extent, the real test will come with the crowds the Ohio State game is sure to bring.
Robert Cleapor, General Manager of Duo, said a soft opening might be a blessing in disguise. This is an opportunity to work out the bugs and give the staff a little experience, he said.
In regards to other clubs and bars Duo isn’t exactly any better or any worse, he said. “We want to provide a fun place to be and not just a place that takes people’s money,” Cleapor said.
He said Duo is a good fit for the diverse culture at Penn State.
“Penn State is a great melting pot and we want to serve everyone,” Cleapor said. “We want to attract a diverse crowd and hopefully we’ll be here for the next 20 years.”
Unlike Levels Nightclub, 420 E. College Ave., Duo will not feature 18-and-over nights, he said.
“We want to keep people from the opportunity to underage drink,” Cleapor said. “My staff will know when to cut people off.”
Duo will feature a VIP section where patrons can lounge at the many leather couches that line the dance floor. The club features three different bars, an elevated DJ booth, standing room, a spacious dance floor and a balcony that overlooks the dance floor.
On the walls there are neon, spray-painted collages lit with LED lights. Overhead feature colored strobe lights and behind the bar there is a purple waterfall also lit with LED lights.
There is also a smoker’s balcony that rests above Pugh St., he said.
“People won’t be able to bring drinks outside,” Cleanor said. “We want to keep a smoke-free environment.”
However, the club was mostly empty Thursday night and employees actually outnumbered the patrons.
At the bar, Sean Cosenza (senior-community environment development) said even though Duo is overstaffed the club could have a lot of potential.
“I saw people outside so I had to stop in and check out the scenery,” Cosenza said. “I like the elevated landing and I like how you can see down on the floor.”
He pointed out that Duo didn’t really stand out from the other clubs in the area. He said the VIP area is expensive and unlikely to be used. He said it felt as though “they’re wasting dance floor space.”
“At a real club the owner would come down and bust a move,” Cosenza said. “This Saturday, after the game, I want to see the owner out there on the dance floor.”
However, Duo has yet to fully open. In addition to the club upstairs there will be a restaurant below, aptly named “Floor One,” with club making up “Floor Two.”
Ashley Conterras, Duo bar manager, said State College has never seen a place like this.
The downstairs will be an upscale, authentic New Orleans style restaurant that will feature a bar which is set to open Tuesday, Oct. 30, she said.
“It won’t be like Lulu’s or Tony’s Big Easy because we have a different image,” Conterras said. “We’re not running crazy drink specials and we have higher security standards.”
Lulu’s Nightspot and Tony’s Big Easy were among the previous occupants of the space that Duo is now in.
The upstairs club is expected to be open Thursday through Saturday from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. The downstairs restaurant is expected to be open from Tuesday to Thursday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and then a late night bar until close, she said.