Young Entrepreneurs Reshaping Downtown Orlando's Nightclub Scene

Top Quote Native Social' Bar Opens Friday, Feb. 1. End Quote
  • Orlando, FL (1888PressRelease) January 31, 2013 - Keith and Romi Mawardi are saying "we told you so."

    In February 2012, the brothers, ages 28 and 25 respectively, opened Tier Nightclub in Downtown Orlando. Naysayers didn't believe the city's nightlife scene would support an upscale concept with exclusive VIP accommodations and high-end bottle service. But the Mawardis were convinced that Orlando was ready for a new level of entertainment, and time has proved them right, with the club continuing to draw large crowds every night and exceeding the industry standard for success.

    Now, the brothers and their management company, Team Market Group LLC, are expanding their reach with major acquisitions of existing bars and clubs, as well as the opening of three new concepts in the heart of downtown.

    In mid-November, Team Market Group acquired the buildings and four businesses from Church Street Concepts LLC. A former bar called "Makos" was closed and TMG is launching a new concept, Native Social Bar, which opens Friday. The other three businesses - 23, Oakroom and Backroom - will receive cosmetic improvements, including new booths, sound systems, lighting and flooring. An outside patio will be added to 23 and the Oak Room will re-establish exclusive VIP memberships.

    In the first quarter of 2013, Team Market Group will open "The District," located on Orange Avenue and Washington Street. This downtown destination venue will include two new concepts: Black Umbrella, a high-end personalized mixology bar touting "customized cocktails" and Saddle Up All American Bar, "a down-home, friendly place where the bartender knows your name."

    The Mawardi brothers, who grew up in Miami, are helping bring a big-city vibe to Orlando. In creating and reinvigorating these concepts, Team Market Group joins the ranks of noteworthy entertainment entities that run comparable multi-unit nightclubs in other major metropolitan cities. "We travel the U.S. and Europe and see what other cities have to offer. We think Orlando is ready for more 'big city' nightclubs," Keith Mawardi said. "I'm the age of our target customers so I know what they want. Romi and I see what we like in other places and we build it here."

    The Mawardis' vision is futuristic but also harkens back to Downtown Orlando's nightlife apex in the 1970s and 1980s when Bob Snow's Church Street Station entertainment complex attracted crowds of not only locals, but also tourists to the city's center.

    "We want to take Orlando forward by replicating elements from the past that will appeal to local residents and international visitors, the way Church Street Station did before Downtown Disney and Universal's City Walk," Keith explains. "Back in the 80's Bob Snow made Church Street Station a destination and downtown a place that everyone wanted to go no matter where you were from. Downtown Orlando has as much going for it now as it did then - an easy-to-navigate city core with great venues, more annual visitors than New York City and the second largest university in the nation, which means there's a lot of young people looking for excitement. Our goal is to capitalize on these inherent advantages and put downtown Orlando back on the map!"

    Although the Great Recession affected the public's taste for high-end products, the Mawardis see the demand for upscale concepts returning.

    "There are more entrepreneurs and progressive growth downtown with more creative people who are looking for a quality experience," Keith said. "We are updating existing venues, making them more current and capitalizing on trends we have seen in other places. Orlando is a vibrant and exciting city and we plan to be here for the long haul."

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