For many years we have all come to be fond of or at least familiar with the local hang-out that goes by the name Club Tennessee. In this day and age, there are very watering holes that have a life-span longer than that of a silk worm, but the minds behind Club Tennessee definitely have some tricks up their sleeves. We had the opportunity to speak to one of the masterminds behind the scenes to find out exactly what it takes to turn a club into a a brand that is withstanding the test of time, this is how it went down;
MA: HI Guys, thanks for the chat. I think what we would all like to know first is, How is the awesome new space treating you guys?
“We’ve received an amazing welcome in Hatfield! The new venue hasn’t come without its fair share of challenges though. It’s quite surreal in the fact that we both were students in the days of Hatfield Square a few years back and wondered what it would be like to have a bar of our own. We were forced to move here on short notice and we’ve had to adapt to an entirely new customer base, which has been interesting as well as challenging, but every day we seem to be getting closer to the perfect recipe for what our crowd wants. We love being in Hatfield and we plan to be here for many years to come!”
MA: Tennessee has been around for quite some time now, making it a staple for party in PTA east, what would you say the main ingredient is for this long run?
“Tennessee has been around quite a while, but it’s been under our new ownership and management for about 2 years now. What we started with to rejuvenate things was some good music. As we are avid Deep House fans we started with just that, on our deck at the old venue. We didn’t have a good Deep House jol here in Pretoria on a Sunday, but they were doing well in Jo’burg already. Inexperienced as we were, we outsourced most of the planning behind the gigs, but we made sure to learn everything we could about putting together an event. Being forced to move was a blessing in disguise, we parted ways with the outsourced organisers and put to work everything we learned, taking into account the needs of our new crowd. We noticed that the new customer base needed new genres and fresh acts that people could relate to. So in short, the secret to success (not that we know that much yet!) is to never stop looking for fresh ideas, and most importantly reviewing what you’ve done and being honest enough with yourself to drop an idea, not matter how much you think it’s a great idea.”
MA: Your new space in Hatfield is significantly bigger and better laid out, surely you can fit a bunch of Party people in there, tell us about one night that really raised the roof?
“Biggest party? Well it depends on who you ask! Thinking about it, it’s between two of our more recent parties. Kollegetehius, the oldest residence on Tuks campus, hosted their annual Miss Kollege here. Those guys KNOW how to party! The vibe was amazing; they were chanting the funniest lines and just all-round good times. Guys were going wild to girls going wild; we sold out all of our Black Label and brandy! Another night on the same level was our St. Patrick’s Day party, it was probably the biggest party in Pretoria that night. Everyone seemed to find their most distant Irish roots and it brought out the best in everyone. We beat our turnover records by far and that’s now the new benchmark.”
MA: Pool Hall, Dancing, Food and amazing drink specials are what make Tennessee what it is to the public, but what defines the brand in your eyes?
“At the moment we’re still re-developing our brand. Tennessee has always been synonymous with our pool tables, so we’ve kept them for everyone to enjoy. We’ve been called the “new Dropzone” which we’re trying to move away from- no disrespect to the infamous place most Pretorians know and (sort of) love. We are music lovers ourselves and the student crowd is as well, but they’re budget conscious. What we’d like to be known for in coming months is being a platform for new artists. From acoustic open mic nights to DJ battles we’re looking forward to exposing Pretoria to its own talent within as well as artists all over the country. Anyone can find a night they will enjoy here along with great tasting food at great prices- that’s Tennessee!”
MA: One last question, What would be the single best meal on the menu in your opinion?
“You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu! But if we really had to choose, the Spicy Rocket Burger with our homemade 200g beef patties, some Emmental cheese, peppadews, rocket and hummus!”
Well there you have it folks.. With that in mind, it’s no secret why we elected to host our third AppleVersary at this venue! We look forward to partying with all of you on Saturday at Club Tennessee, for more info CLICK HERE