LAKEWOOD RANCH — After 21 years working in payroll for Sarasota County, Felice Flammia wanted to give back to her children.
So, this month, she built them a nightclub.
On Aug. 1, Flammia, an accountant, will unveil her first major startup project, a nightclub for teenagers called Club Tantra. The facility is located at 5103 Lena Road.
The club, open to youth ages 14 to 19, will occupy a vacant space across from Strike Zone.
It features Miami-style club hallmarks sought by her children — the white curtain draping the ceiling, hung from one side of the dance floor to the other; black lights; a VIP area marked by drink service (sodas) and comfortable sofas; a red-velvet rope outside the doors; a jeweled chandelier; CO2 cannons shooting out cold fog; and a DJ spinning music from an elevated stand.
Matching freewheeling fun with a focus on safety, Flammia hopes the club helps her oldest children, Kenny, 16, and Danielle, 14, both students at Braden River High School, and other teenagers stay out of trouble.
Flammia once owned a cheerleading business, which she shared with a partner in 2009. The experience pushed her to innovate on her own.
She signed a one-year lease July 1, for the 5,000-square-foot Club Tantra space. It holds up to 300 people.
In designing the club and executing its business strategy, Flammia sought out close friend Anthony Tamargo, who worked on the first teen nightclub in Tampa — the now-closed Sky Feathers Galaxian — in the 1980s.
The two also researched nearby teen clubs, including The Hall in Palmetto, where Flammia would wait in the parking lot while her children danced inside.
Tamargo emphasized safety.The club will have five security employees inside the club, all who will have passed background checks.
Those individuals include Flammia and two individuals who will admit teens at the door.
Another one or two off-duty police officers will man the parking lot.
Club Tantra does not permit smoking or alcohol. It will have a dress code. Employees, six to 10 total, will watch for explicit dancing or behavior, although they will be somewhat hands-off.
“We are not just out there policing children,” Flammia said. “There’s a fine line. But, we want to have a level of protection. We want parents to know that, once they drop their child off, their child is safe.”
Tamargo said the club will try all-night lock-ins in the future.
There will be guest DJs, who bring differently themed tunes. There also will be glow parties and paint parties.
“This is about creating memories,” Flammia said.
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