Dance club out to cure teen boredom

Seeks high school bands, offers games, concessions

August 12, 2011 at 9:03 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

A group of kids gather on the dance floor of HourGlass Teen Lounge on Friday night. The new Luling club caters to teens.
Jonathan Menard/Herald Guide
A group of kids gather on the dance floor of HourGlass Teen Lounge on Friday night. The new Luling club caters to teens.
Tara Phillips was tired of hearing about how her eight children had nothing to do in St. Charles Parish, an area that lacks a mall, movie theater or bowling alley for teens to enjoy.

So she decided to do something about it.

Tara and her husband, Scott, have opened a teen/preteen club that not only offers music and a dance floor, but also has a pool table, foosball and VIP-like sections. The club, HourGlass Teen Lounge, is open now on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. until midnight and is located at 727 Paul Maillard Road, Suite F.

“There is just nothing to do for kids here...I know because I have eight,” Tara said. “That’s why we decided to open this lounge to give kids a safe place to gather at and hangout with their friends.”

Safety is paramount for the Phillips’, so the club is set up as a lock-in environment.

“Once they get here, we don’t let them leave until their parents come and pick them up and no one is allowed to go outside,” Tara said. “If they go outside they are probably doing something they’re not supposed to…I know what goes on.”

Tara and her family staff the club and family friends are present as chaperones. A back office features hi-tech surveillance equipment so that workers can keep an eye on the kids at all times.

“Our main thing is safety,” Scott said. “We want the kids to have fun, but we also want to keep them safe.”

The club has been open for the last two weeks and an average of 50 teens and preteens each night have gathered together to hang out while dancing and playing games. Concessions are provided and include Papa John’s pizza.

Most of those who attended were between 12-14 years old and there is a $10 charge to enter.

“We are trying to gear it for the younger kids right now, but we would like to attract older kids too,” Tara said. “I know older kids don’t like hanging out with the younger ones, so if we start getting a lot of older teens we would like to have a separate area for them.

“That would keep them from sneaking into nightclubs or bars.”

Right now, the club, which is 3,500 square feet, has three small VIP-like sections with a main bar area that serves concessions and soda, a stage for music acts and a dance floor. The Phillips’ have already signed a contract with popular New Orleans rap act  N.O. Meazy, who will perform in September.

Tara, who used to manage her husband’s rock band, said getting local music acts is a top priority.

“We have a nice stage and we really want to get local bands playing here,” she said. “Between Hahnville and Destrehan, there are a lot of high school bands that play their original music and we would love to have them come out and play for all ages.

“For those younger bands, it’s very hard for them to find venues that let them play because they’re underage.”

While HourGlass Teen Lounge already has pool and foosball tables, Tara is also waiting on arcade games to arrive.

“We have been waiting on them to get here for a few weeks, but if it’s going to take any longer we will probably get a Wii station for the kids to play with,” she said.

The Phillips’ will also rent out the club for parties during the week for those interested.

“We have already started getting a lot of calls for that,” Tara said. “This is a great place to have a birthday party or other event because we can hold a lot of people.”

To find out more information on HourGlass Teen Lounge, or to schedule your band or birthday party, call (504)259-9559.

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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