(This article was commissioned by Gay Entertainment Directory, and it first appeared in their May 2019 edition.)
Flashback to the 70s USA, when circuit party planners in urban gay destinations, such as Hollywood, San Francisco and New York City, were drawn to empty warehouses and commercial spaces with low rents, to transform them into daring dance clubs by night. Capture that mood (and if you’re old enough to remember such parties, you know what we’re talking about!), complement it with state-of-the-art light and sound technology, and you get Industry Night Club, a recently-opened bar and dance club in the heart of Puerto Vallarta’s gay neighborhood, Emiliano Zapata.
Industry is the brainchild of Javier Jiménez, renowned for his other very successful Vallarta venues, such as Garbo, Mr. Flamingo and Wet Dreams. (For those familiar with Vallarta, Industry is located across the street from Mr. Flamingo, next to CC Slaughter’s.) Every aspect of the venue has been designed to enhance the old factory vibe, starting with the tall entrance hallway. Once inside, a small dance floor might trick you into thinking you’ve entered the wrong venue. “This is our small dance floor,” Javier is quick to clarify.
Next to the dance floor, a sit-down bar and comfortable sitting area dominate the space. Lighting is subdued, furniture is black vinyl. The sitting area features a small stage used for leather shows on Wednesday evenings. In the opposite wall, one of several Tom of Finland-inspired airbrushed murals created by a local artist, enhances the overall mood.
The bar is flanked by wire-fenced sliding doors on both sides that reveal the expansive dance floor behind, and the second half of what is actually a circular bar serving both sides of the venue. “We are a bar with a dance floor,” Javier comments. “During weekdays, we rely on the small dance floor and sitting area to keep our customers happy and comfortable. The large dance floor opens on Fridays and Saturdays.”
A gigantic vertical LED screen behind and before the DJ booth dominates the dance floor with hypnotic videos that, combined with an ample supply of robotic spots and laser beams, create the perfect atmosphere for after-hours partying. Two tall towers on each side of the DJ booth serve as platforms for gogo dancers. “We rely on some of the dancers we have at Wet Dreams, but we’ve also invited special performers from Guadalajara that are closer to the leather/S&M look and feel we want to convey.” Suspended from the center of the dance floor, a long piece of fabric confirms aerial dancers whose pics have begun proliferating social media channels, such as Facebook and Instagram.
As suggested by guardrails seen from the dance floor, a VIP area with its own separate street entryway is available for groups of 20 or-so to celebrate a special event, or simply take a break from the dance floor grinding below—by reservation only. By extending into the top level, the tall glass structure that separates both sides of the bar downstairs also provides an extra level of privacy above. And yet, see-through glass allows folks in the VIP area keep an eye on the action below. And for the ultimate see and be seen vantage points, those upstairs can stand behind the aforementioned guardrails on both sides of the VIP area to take in an unobstructed view of the dance floor.
Needless to say, a new nightclub with state of the art technology and a multisensory experience is likely to push the envelope, providing surrounding venues with a challenge to keep up with tourist expectations. “We are charged with providing our visitors with a fun party atmosphere similar to the ones they’ve come to expect in popular gay destinations north of the border,” Javier explains. “At the same time, we work closely with other LGBT venue owners in the area, and particularly in our own street, to help make the overall neighborhood succeed.” This can be evidenced with the new street party that is now put together in the recently coined Pride Strip (Lazaro Cardenas St. between I. Vallarta and Constitucion) on special occasions, such as Pride, New Year’s Eve and Semana Santa (Mexico’s Spring Break equivalent).
Industry opens Wednesday through Monday at 9 pm as a comfortable bar to enjoy a cocktail after dinner. Thematic events, such as the Wednesday leather night mentioned above, take place on different nights. And on Sundays, Industry opens early, at 6 pm, for a strict, disco music-only menu. “There is no other place in the neighborhood focusing on disco music.” Industry is located at Lazaro Cardenas 258, in Colonia Emiliano Zapata.