LACONIA — This summer, on most weekend nights, people will begin filling Weirs Beach nightclubs. At the Paradise Beach Club, with its Key West themed interior and menu and nightly entertainment, owners Krista and Bret Loring said it's usual to fill to capacity and see a line form at the door. Some people won't have to wait in line, though. They'll walk past the line and be escorted through the crowd to their own private seating area. While other patrons will crowd the bar for drink service, three or four people deep, those in the private seating area will have their own, dedicated server. It's the V.I.P. treatment, and the Lorings are proud to be among the first venues in New Hampshire — and the only ones in the Lakes Region — to offer the experience.
The Lorings have owned and operated the Paradise Beach Club since 2000, taking over a space that was originally built as a bowling alley and more recently the site of the Buzzard's Nest restaurant. Krista said she and Bret were clear in the feelings of the establishment they took over. "We absolutely hated it," she said. They wasted no time in converting the space to a bar and restaurant that would fit right in at Key West.
Every year since, they've sought to add new wrinkles to their business. They added a second 40-foot bar, a D.J. booth for electronic entertainment during set breaks for the live acts, and a "Tiki bar" to serve an outdoor seating area.
This year's additions include a renovated front facade for the building's exterior, and inside, a roped-off seating area near the stage, where the Paradise Beach Club will serve patrons who purchase either the V.I.P. bottle service or all-inclusive V.I.P. package.
Prices of either package will vary based on the number of people in each party and, in the case of bottle service, which liquor is chosen. However, for both, packages for parties of about eight people will cost in the $200 range. With both packages, the patrons receive express and complimentary entry into the club, a reserved seating area monitored by security staff, and a server dedicated to the party. The bottle service option allows parties to purchase a 750 ml bottle of liquor, which the server would mix for patrons as needed. The all-inclusive package would allow patrons to order drinks of their choice.
While the V.I.P. treatment might be familiar to those who frequent nightclubs in major metropolitan areas, Krista said local patrons are sometimes confused by the packages. However, Paradise Beach Club opened for the season a few weeks ago, and many have taken advantage of the new opportunity. Bret said, "Everybody has gone out just loving it."
On Saturday night, with popular band Tigerlily scheduled to perform, the V.I.P. area has been booked solid. Krista thinks it's a trend that is sure to continue, especially as more of her regulars see what it's all about. "You feel like royalty. You walk by everyone in line, you're escorted to your table, it's your night."
The Lorings recognize that part of the draw for Weirs Beach is nostalgia, as visitors return to seek reminders of vacations they enjoyed years ago. Even so, they believe the area can retain a connection to its history without being shackled to it.
"Nostalgia's good, to a point," said Krista.
Bret added, "But you've got to keep it fresh... We try to do something new to the place every year.
CAPTION for V.I.P. Bottle service in AA:
Krista and Brett Loring, owners of the Paradise Beach Club at Weirs Beach, are the first venue in the Lakes Region to offer their patrons V.I.P. packages. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Adam Drapcho)