Last night was the launch of the new club, Zouk (Official Facebook page here). Located on the grounds of the Crowne Plaza, it's just up the road from Rock Bottom and is a breath of fresh-air for the Muscat night club scene. The entrance is in the smaller car park - take a right when you drive into the hotel - there's a sign, you can't miss it.
I was impressed with the place - it's a very modern and nicely laid out lounge bar. There was lot of seating dotted around the place (something I find bars never have enough of) and the bar itself was split into two lengths either side of a column - a good 10-15 meters of bar space. Take a look at the pictures and see for yourself. I didn't take too many pictures because I was genuinely having a great time, free beer can do that to me, what can I say - it was a cool party ambience.
There is a large VIP section off to the right with many comfortable looking red couches - I didn't venture over there, but knowing how popular the VIP area is at the Copa, I'm sure people will flock to it. There was also another private bar in the VIP section too.
The sound system was actually really very good - for the audiophiles out there, it's a Wharfdale professional system and the sound engineer was flown in from London. I had few problems hearing people when in conversation with them and enjoyed the music while having some great conversations. I have to say I'm rather jealous of the lady I was talking to that had a Ferrari California ordered and was expecting delivery in September - and I forgot to ask the colour - Red, or Yellow?
Watch out when you head to the toilets - there is a step-up into them from the corridor outside. Now I just had to take a picture of the toilet, it was great! I think that wins the award for best toilet in a bar in Oman! I don't think I've ever taken a picture of a toilet in a bar before, but I thought it was cool.
The beer is all bottles, no draft. Bottles cost RO 2.5 (with some costing RO 2.7). Martini's and Cocktails cost between RO 3.3 and RO 4.5 per drink, and there is obviously also various spirits and wines available both by the measure and by the bottle. Soft drinks are fountain drinks - no cans that I saw (except Red Bull), and there is also a food menu as well.
The cost of entry is RO 20 per couple. This RO 20 is then credited to you in drinks which you can have in the club before paying more money - a great concept and one I hope proves successful. It's going to be a bit rough for those that do not drink, or just wanted to have one or two drinks - but I think it's a great idea, and time will tell if it's a popular one.
When you enter, you are given a smart card with RO 20 credit on it, when it's used up, you can then choose to buy more drinks, or not. For single ladies, there is no cover charge (but not smart card either) to enter the club. For groups of people, there is also no problem, but the RO 20 only applies to couples, it is unclear what a "third wheel" will have to pay, I imagine, either nothing with no smart card, RO 10, or RO 20 - I'm not sure. The focus of the club is for couples, not singles, but let's see how things go.
The doors open at 8.00 tonight, and close at 2.30.