Cities that are homes to the hottest nightclubs in the country: Las Vegas. Miami Beach. New York City. And Pensacola.
Nightclub & Bar magazine, the trade journal for the nightclub industry, lists Seville Quarter among the nation’s top 100 nightclubs, bars and lounges. The entertainment complex at 130 E. Government St. in downtown Pensacola comes in at No. 87.
“It felt like winning a Grammy,” said Buck Mitchell, Seville Quarter’s marketing director and a member of the family that has owned Seville Quarter for a quarter of century.
Only two other Florida nightspots outside Miami Beach make the list — Sloppy Joe’s in Key West and AJ’s Club Bimini in Destin.
Mitchell said he submitted Seville Quarter for consideration because "when you travel to different places, you think ‘We could compete with these guys.’ "
The application required information on square footage, total 2009 revenue and community service. The published list has Seville’s 2009 revenue in the $5 million to $10 million range.
Christian McArthur of Pensacola said he was “not surprised” at the recognition because of the diversity of entertainment options at Seville. He plays drums in Caught on Camera, a party band that frequently performs there.
“You’ll have a 21st birthday party and a bunch of military guys and a 40th wedding anniversary all partying in the same room,” McArthur said.
“You can go in one room and it’s Nick B playing really hot, brand-new music videos, and you walk across the hall and they’ve got one of the coolest wine selections on the Gulf Coast. Then you walk into another room and there’s an ‘80s band. Then walk across another hall, and it’s the only piano bar in the area. There’s no place in the country that I can think of that has that kind of diversity under one roof.”
Whitney Vaughan of Pensacola, who goes to Seville Quarter at least once a week, also cited diversity as a reason she’s a fan.
“Every time I have someone new in town I always take them to Seville,” Vaughan said. “My advertising point is there’s seven bars in one building, and you don’t have to drive to get to any of them.”
Community Redevelopment Agency Administrator Becky Bray said the recognition only helps efforts to market downtown Pensacola as an entertainment district.
“It further enhances our ability to show that there is life after the beach,” she said.
Edwin Banacia, co-owner of Suite Ultra-Lounge, another popular downtown nightclub, said Seville’s success helps his business.
“Seville is the centerpiece, it’s the foundation for the entire entertainment district,” Banacia said. “For them to be named one of the top 100, it’s just a perfect fit.”
As for Mitchell, he said that once the shock of the award wears off, Seville Quarter will celebrate.
“We’re going to party all year on this one,” he said.
About the list
The 2010 Nightclub & Bar Top 100 list was developed by Nightclub & Bar in partnership with Technomic Inc., a Chicago-based hospitality market research firm, using primary and secondary research.
An online survey of operators was conducted from Oct. 14 to Dec. 1, 2009, yielding data from 600 nightclubs, bars and lounges. Secondary research involving public databases and sources, scans of major metropolitan markets and industry resources provided additional data.