Aqua Fuego is reopening this month – but it’s not the club as you may have known it before. Time Out heads inside
Time Out Bahrain staff
Now that Ramadan and Eid are over, events and parties step up a gear in Bahrain. There will be new restaurants to explore, new music events, and if you head down to the Days Hotel in Manama at all, a new nightlife concept to discover. Aqua Fuego has been in hiding for the past two months, but it’s about to come back with a bang – the club, open for a year, has been refurbished and redeveloped, and is looking to offer more than ever before for its clientele.
Meeting with Bryan Malone, the club manager, and Sidd Kamboj, Aqua Fuego owner, we found out more about what had taken place. ‘The inside of the club and the concept are different,’ Bryan explains. ‘In terms of the décor, we’ve relocated the dancefloor and the VIP area, and everything has been repainted. Plus there are new weekly events, and every day there is a different theme to help broaden our market.’
Sidd elaborates on this: ‘We used to play just one type of music and have one vibe seven days a week, but now there are different theme nights, catering for different audiences. Lots of research was conducted when the club closed, and the general observation was that although events in Bahrain are quite good, there is a lack of consistency. Our aim is to become an entertainment hub regardless of your preference or musical taste – whether you like house, R&B or live music. Whatever the genre, Aqua Fuego will become the fundamental platform within that genre.
The way this will be handled is with the forementioned theme nights. ‘On Tuesday we have the Midweek Escape,’ says Bryan. ‘This will feature British pop and electro, not really have any real dress code, and it’s just a place to network and mingle.’ A lot of the new theme nights are inspired by London’s West End scene, where going out in the middle of the working week has become popular. He continues: ‘Wednesday is our live music night, called Show Us What You Can Do, where you can take to the stage whether you’re an artist, singer or dancer. It’s a play on an open mic night, and we’ve already put the word out for volunteers.’
The nights get rowdier towards the weekend. ‘Thursday is our Juicy night,’ Sidd reveals, ‘so if you’re a lady who loves garage or hip hop, then definitely come here. It’s a very lady-friendly night, champagne-themed, and the kind of place a guy can bring his girlfriend. Then Friday is Retox – our opposite of Detox – and that’s the night where you can just go for it and really party hard, it’s very dance orientated. Look out for themed drinks as well – we’ve got cocktails specific to the nights, such as the Juicy Fruit or the Retox Lamborghini. That last one is actually on fire.’
Bryan tells us how the week continues: ‘Saturday is the Dug Out, which is all about sport, and we’re offering somewhere a little classier where you can watch the Premier League etc. Then on Sunday and Monday, the days are just simple, non-themed corporate days – a place where people can chill out after work.’ Finger foods are available every night, and there will be various drinks promos.
But there is a lot more thought going into the new evenings and feel of the club. ‘We’re offering innovative entertainment, something not seen before in Bahrain,’ says Bryan. ‘There is also more focus on the bartenders and service – we want our staff to know our regulars, and greet them at the door by name. People are more discerning these days, and in search of a quality product.’
Looking around the club, with its more secluded VIP area and the repositioned DJ booth, you can see how Bryan and Sidd’s reworked venue becomes an interesting proposition, and it’s always a good thing to offer people more variety within a growing nightlife scene. ‘There is scope for international acts as well,’ Bryan reveals. ‘We might bring in an international house DJ for Retox, or maybe a hip hop and R&B DJ for Juicy. We want the people to see that quality is what sets us apart from the rest, and that’s our philosophy going forward. For instance, we want Aqua Fuego to gain a reputation for having the best cocktails in Bahrain.’
It’s a venue that has been open just a year, and now it is striving to become something more that it was. Will it be a success? The answer to that will only be found by heading down and checking it out for yourself. Just pick the night that’s best for you. Aqua Fuego, Days Hotel Manama (17 290 555). Open daily 8pm-2am.