To make your way into Magnolia, a new club coming to the Flats East Bank this summer, you’ll have to walk through a small general store-like storefront that sells made-to-order donuts.
“The secret to the space is that the entrance is through the donut shop,” says owner Bobby Rutter. “It’s a little hidden element that adds a little bit of mystery when you enter the space.”
When you do make it past the shop you’ll enter a 4,000-square-foot club (1167 Front St.) that is being developed by Rutter and his partner Michael Schwartz, the team behind the seasonal open-air club FWD
“Yeah, we’re going indoors,” Rutter jokes. “This is a little smaller, a little different. The clubs will have good synergy because they’re so closely located. It also enables us to keep our employees and crowd happy throughout the year.”
Magnolia’s sleight-of-hand entrance will be located between Big Bang and the entrance to the apartment building. The space has 20-foot ceilings and will feature a steel magnolia tree that climbs all the way to the top while its branches extend clear to the outer edges of the space.
“It will feel like you’re sitting under a giant industrial tree,” he adds.
The walls will be festooned with colorful graffiti-style art along the lines of Banksy and Mr. Brainwash.
“We think people will want to take pictures by them.”
Rutter says that early in the evenings, the club will be a high-energy and stylish place to watch sports. Later on, DJs will play everything from old-school dance music to more contemporary tracks. The club will seat approximately 325 people in lounge-style seating.
Magnolia will have six drafts and an approachable cocktail menu with a lot of playful, sharable, big-batch cocktails, not unlike what you might find at a tiki bar.
Now to those donuts: Rutter is also a partner with Shawn Monday, chef and owner of Flip Side, One Red Door and Three Palms restaurants. He will be in charge of developing and executing the concept, which will be selling hot and fresh donuts late into the night.
Magnolia will open its doors a few days after the RNC leaves town.
Meanwhile, Rutter’s other club, FWD, officially opens for the season this Saturday at 10 p.m.