VenuResto-Lounge and Nightclub breathes cool. Located at 151 St. Paul Street, you can't help but be drawn to it, even intimidated by its ultra-smooth design that begs you to take a closer look. The outside reminds me of the VIP clubs in Paris: two large doors bearing the logo in a sea of darkness bathed in pale blue light. It's not hard to imagine the exclusive red rope taking shape before it.
Venu opened its doors on July 7 of this year and has enjoyed a successful start. Four partners got together after meeting at RIT to start their own business, first in event promotions, and now in the nightlife industry with Venu.
I spoke to one of the owners, Maurice Ragland, this past week and he explained, "Venu has an upscale, professional and diverse clientele." And that made me realize the natural seduction. Venu is different; this is a place to actually meet people you may not work with or had gone to high school with. It's a place where you can have an unpredictable conservation, or make a connection that might change your perspective.
And not to mention, as Ragland told me, "Amazing food. Everything on the menu is delicious and the kitchen is open until 2 a.m." Yes, gourmet snacks at 2 a.m.! The ever-powerful garbage plate may have met its match. Options include Ragland's favorite, Cajun blue crab cakes: Maryland blue crab meat seasoned with a creamy Cajun remoulade and browned to perfection, served with Venu's signature cole slaw. All for less than $10. You really can't go wrong, especially if you're washing it down with one of the spot's martinis.
As for music, Venu plays host to national jazz acts and local artists, including house, hip-hop and anything that can get you moving on the expansive dance club downstairs. That's in addition to poetry readings from local and nationally acclaimed artists. (Be sure to check out the very sweet website, www.venurochester.com, to learn about upcoming events.) Or you may want to just grab some great food and a drink at the lounge, soaking in the atmosphere on one of the numerous couches and feeling very far away from Rochester...which can be a very good thing. Sometimes.