Can a strip mall space in Newport Beach magically transport clubbers to Hollywood, minus the drive? Owners of 8Eighty8, a new late-night dancing destination in the shadow of Orange County's John Wayne Airport, are betting on it.
"We met with the general manager of Drai's Hollywood [before opening], and he told us that 65% to 70% of his business comes from Orange Country," said 8Eighty8's new Executive Vice President Jim Haim Sarvey on a recent Saturday. He sat inside his newly opened club, formerly known as Red, nestled inside a fairly drab mini-mall.
"You don't need to go to L.A., you can come right here," Sarvey added.
8Eighty8's parent company, Ten Restaurant Group, which owns the 8,500-square-foot dance club and adjacent late-night eatery Ten Asian Bistro, hopes to stop the northbound migration of free-spending Orange County clubbers. The group is pitching the space's close-enough-to-the-beach orientation, already familiar to area residents from its past manifestations as Red and Tentation, as the home of a new Hollywood-meets-South Beach scene.