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A new lounge aimed at young professionals opened its doors last weekend. Lounge 54, located inside Brewstone Beer Company (3720 E. 82nd St., 317-577-7800), aims to fill a void within Indianapolis nightlife scene. General manager Ben Priest got in touch with long-time friend John Ban to create an intimate place for young professionals to unwind. Ban is the former deejay and Los Angeles resident who launched West Coast Tacos in 2010, on the cusp of the food truck explosion. He has since sold West Coast Tacos and started The NY Slice Truck, which now has two trucks in circulation. We recently picked Ban's brain on his most recent project.
Shana Ngo: On a Saturday night, whom do you expect to see at Lounge 54?
John Ban: You will see a lot of young business professionals. I think it’s more of a place for people with careers to mingle with other people who are career-driven, rather than people who are in college or working part-time jobs.
SN: It’s an intimate setting, but you’ve designed it so that it’s comfortable.
JB: The design was a lot of Ben’s idea. He set the atmosphere. There’s a small dance floor. We didn’t want a big room—it’s not a nightclub.
SN: What is the significance of the name?
JB: It’s a derivative of Studio 54.
SN: How exclusive is Lounge 54? How strict is the dress code?
JB: It’s not so much the dress code. We obviously want people to dress nicely, but it’s about being invited—being on the list. A lot of the major cities have this type of scene, and it’s just something that Indianapolis has always been lacking.
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