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Published September 07, 2012, 11:31 PM

Vegas-style partying under one roof at The Hub

FARGO - The Hub brings Vegas to North Dakota. And to do that under the roof of a 40,000-square-foot club just off 25th Street and Ninth Avenue in south Fargo, The Hub General Manager Dan Vogel says it’s important to keep things fresh by frequently changing the club’s décor inside and out.

By: Wendy Reuer, INFORUM

FARGO - The Hub brings Vegas to North Dakota.

And to do that under the roof of a 40,000-square-foot club just off 25th Street and Ninth Avenue in south Fargo, The Hub General Manager Dan Vogel says it’s important to keep things fresh by frequently changing the club’s décor inside and out.

“There’s nothing this big even in Minneapolis,” Vogel said. “We’re the biggest club between Seattle and Chicago, really. People don’t realize what we have here in Fargo. We’re a Vegas-style club right here in Fargo.”

The club is not just a destination for Fargo-Moorhead nightlife. It is gaining nationwide recognition as a destination and premiere concert venue.

The Hub recently nabbed the No. 95 spot on Pollstar’s list of largest 100 clubs in the nation. Pollstar is a worldwide concert industry magazine. The magazine bases its list on attendance and ticket sales.

Vogel said The Hub – which houses seven clubs including a top-notch concert arena in The Venue – hopes to make it into the mid-70s on Pollstar’s 2012 list.

While the Fargodome holds the largest crowds in the metro area, when it comes to concerts no other venue is made for concerts quite like The Venue is, Vogel said.

He said more than $1 million worth of state-of-the-art equipment has been invested in The Venue.

Kris Kerzman, with Jade Presents in Fargo, said working with The Hub is a seamless process. The good relationship between Jade Presents – also named a top promoter by Pollstar – and The Venue staff makes recruiting top acts to Fargo easier, he said.

“In terms of bands coming to town and whether their people want to come to a town, a lot of that is dependent on the kind of reputation the venues have,” Kerzman said. “So in terms of what artists are looking for, a room that is up to date, has good sound, good sight lines and stuff like that is really important.”

More than 100,000 people visited The Hub last year, and Vogel said he expects to see even more faces in 2012.

To bring in those new faces and to keep the ones they know returning, The Hub continually remakes its interior.

The Hub opened in 2007 after a

$2 million renovation of the Playmakers building into seven clubs under one roof at 2592 9th Ave. S.

Most recently, The House of Rock, a dance and concert area that holds about 300, was brought back to life, entering into space where the Playmakers Sports Bar used to be. A state-of-the-art video music system was installed that allows any video ever made to be played on 23 flat-screen TVs, Vogel said. Live acts take the House of Rock stage on weekends.

Vogel admitted some patrons have said they miss the former sports bar, but he said sports bars have been on the decline. With successful venues such as Buffalo Wild Wings that provide food and allow for the inclusion of the under-21 crowd, reinstating The House of Rock made sense, he said.

In March, Bottle Barn Liquors was closed at The Hub to make room for Sickies Garage, a hot rod-themed restaurant hoping to carve a niche in the beer and burger world. The restaurant is open at 11 a.m. every day and offers a wide range of tap beers and table taps, where booths have their own selection of beers.

Cadillac Ranch is a country western-themed bar and dance hall.

Across the hall from Cadillac Ranch is Prime, a martini bar where top-shelf martinis, liquors and champagnes are served. The lounge chairs and booths make for a relaxed, quiet vibe.

The Monkey Bar overlooks The Vibe, or the first floor of The Venue where concerts are held. The Monkey Bar offers an area where patrons can relax but still enjoy the acts on stage. Three VIP areas are connected to the Monkey Bar.

Above the The Vibe, is Forbidden, an Asian-themed bar known for its sake bombs.

It’s not just the building that has attracted national attention. So have some of the staff.

DJ Roscoe, who has been spinning records at The Hub since he was 21, is now a Billboard Magazine reporter. He is the first reporter to cover North Dakota, and the youngest on Billboard’s staff. Roscoe reports on the popular music he plays and finds.

“I give North Dakota a voice when it comes to dance music,” Roscoe said. “Geography doesn’t dictate musical tastes. Music is universal.”

Safety is also important to The Hub. Vogel said a number of cab services partner with the club to ensure it’s easy for patrons to catch a ride home. Lucky 7 offers $7 rides home to anywhere in the metro area from The Hub.

Even with all of the changes already made at The Hub, Vogel said more could be in store with a planned future remodeling of one or more of the bars. He declined to detail plans but said it’s important the club avoids becoming stale.

In the meantime, Vogel, who often spends every day (and a night or two) at work, continues to love what he does.

“I kind of treat my job like I’m the host of the party. I want to make sure everyone’s having a good time,” he said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530

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