This new gem of a nightclub opened its doors for patrons last November 2016. David Dennis, one of the owners, talked to us about the journey they took in bringing Nectar at the heart of The Fort Strip.
David is originally from New York, and when he moved to the Philippines, he initially was a consultant to some of the well-known clubs around the Metro like Opus, Privé and Imperial Ice Bar. He's a veteran when it comes to the clubbing scene. David mentioned how they wanted to take the gay bar out of Malate and give it a twist so that everyone would be welcome.
The move to open an inclusive club that does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation was an idea not only from David, but also his partners from the previous clubs he was a consultant to and some other partners. It truly was a collective effort. And with new ideas and events happening at Nectar everyday, we can only get excited with what's in store for this club.
The Fort Strip at night.
Why we went to Nectar and what we expected to see
Curiosity, basically. I've only been to one club my whole life (and it's the regular club), so it's interesting and exciting to have a gay night club as a second time for comparison. I'm also looking forward to meeting club goers with colorful personalities and making conversations with them.
I haven't been to a club in months and I know how fast everything changes. I'm really interested in seeing how different the scene is now compared to how it was before. And because I heard Nectar is very inclusive, I am even more excited to meet a more diverse group of people. I'm expecting to be surrounded by fun and lively people who are engaging and just want to have a great night.
As a 54 years old married female, I do not usually go to any night club. I went to a regular club near Nectar two years ago, because I was wondering whether a club nowadays is different from a disco in the 80's. Not much, it turned out, except that they do not dance that much in clubs any more. They just jab their arms up in the air repetitively. What remains the same is that clubs and discos are noisy places where people mainly go to flaunt their physical attractiveness. This time, I am wondering if a LBGTQ inclusive club can be more interesting than regular clubs in the ways that the patrons engage their potential admirers.
The exterior of Nectar Nightclub.
I remember how much fun I had the last time I went to a club five years ago, so I had high expectations of what I'll get in Nectar Nightclub. The huge pink door and the pounding music was a warm welcome to us. We went in at 11PM and saw that the place was only half full, but by the minute, the crowd started to thicken. Majority of the guests were male out to have fun on a Friday night. It was a typical nightclub scene inside, with couches, tall tables, strobe lights and a bar. We had cocktail drinks and kept to ourselves at first. But soon after, we started to loosen up and met a group of interesting people who were dancing the night away. It was also a night of love as we met an engaged pair soon to marry in Belgium. The staff were helpful and accommodating. They even gave us a couch free of charge. I guess they saw how much our feet were hurting from our sky high heels. Of note also were their restrooms, which were unisex. Instead of having signs on the doors saying "Men" or "Women" and the like, theirs had signs that say "Doesn't Matter." It was my first time encountering such. Overall, I'd go to Nectar again for sure with my friends for a good time.
One Friday night at Nectar gave me a whole different experience. It was the first time I tried some of their cocktails as well. I was supposed to get a whiskey sour but the helpful staff informed me that they didn't have it and offered me to try the amaretto sour. It was as good as my usual order so I wasn't complaining. At around midnight, more people started coming in. I can feel the cheerful atmosphere because everyone seemed to be in a happy mood. It was also easier to make friends. I even had the chance to meet an engaged couple who'll soon get married in Belgium. A fun night filled with new discoveries and new people. It's safe to say that I had fun and that I will be coming back.
I was there only from 11pm and midnight, so the party was just getting started, I am told. The fun part happened after I left, my accomplices told me. The crowd was 90% men, and since the cool outfit nowadays is still just black t-shirts, there was not a lot of fashion to look at, or I was just not noticing the subtle differences between designs of black t-shirts. There was no drag queen flaunting their ware also. The only excitement I got was when a bottle of drink was served, or when someone's birthday was celebrated, because the wine sparklers were eye-catching. I was there so early that everyone was still behaving like they were in a family restaurant, chatting only with people at their table, and occasionally looking around sheepishly.
A birthday celebrant was surprised with warm greetings and sparklers.
Our random thoughts
Since Nectar targets the LGBTQ community, I felt generally safe dancing and interacting with people I met inside. But I'd advice girls to still be wary of the people approaching them. From my experience, there was a guy who danced with me who I assumed was gay. But while dancing, I noticed that his actions revealed his agenda: he pretended to be gay to dance close to women. After a while, I said I was tired and excused myself. He kept coming back to our table inviting us to dance, but we said no. Have fun with caution still :)
I really liked the changes they made with the interior of the club. I just kept looking at it. And the idea of calling it "Nectar" made me like the concept all the more. The staff were also very helpful. No need to try and scream your way into getting a server's attention. I liked how the new staff made sure I've got what I need right away. The restrooms were also interesting. I've only heard about restrooms with no gender barriers but it was my first time to actually use one. It truly shows how inclusive Nectar is and I think it gives out a good message.
I was told that after I left, there were some steamy shows.
Since I am a morning person, I always leave a party too early. But I overheard the manager of the club saying that he would like to have more patrons in the middle of a week. Well, if clubs start their activities earlier, then perhaps those who worry about having to go to work the next day will go to clubs on a weekday also. Why do performances have to start only at 1am? Most people finish their dinner at 9pm, or 10pm the latest. Currently, they have to hang around somewhere else until midnight to go to a club because nothing happens before then. Staying up all night may make some people feel immortal, others like me often feel half dead when it is passed our bed time, and that's not our way to have fun.