A new business owned by SellSwipe’s David Facey has taken over management of the Dead Poet bar on East Boyd Drive, a move that will allow Facey and his business partners to test out a party promoting app they plan to launch upon the bar’s reopening.
Rather than buy Dead Poet, Facey’s new company—On the List—closed on a contract with the bar’s owner, R3 Entertainment, several weeks ago to manage the establishment for at least the next year, making Dead Poet the first Black-operated bar in the Tigerland area, to Facey’s knowledge. The deal also includes a profit-sharing agreement, for which Facey declined to disclose specific terms.
Once state guidelines enable Facey to reopen Dead Poet, he’ll use the venue to gauge the success of his On the List app—which he compares to Eventbrite, but catered to event promoters.
“Party promoters typically have different relationships and agreements with different venues, so we wanted to create this app to give those promoters more flexibility and better analytics,” Facey says. “If you went to a party run by someone, you can ‘follow’ them on the app and any time they have a new event, you can see it and interface with other attendees from your social media networks, so that’ll give promoters a better idea of who’s coming.”
Dead Poet will also look different when it reopens. Facey estimates he’s spent some $50,000 on renovations, which include additional private seating, partitions built by a local woodworking company, more murals by the same artist, a different lighting concept and plexiglass, all of which are intended to give the bar more of an “intimate, nightclub feel” geared toward young professionals in the 27-32 age range.
It’s being modeled largely after the Soho House clubs in London, New York and Chicago, for which patrons can pay quarterly membership dues to skip the lines, among other concierge-type services Facey plans to offer through the On the List app.
“We’re trying to cultivate an air of exclusivity,” says Facey, who’s looking to hire 12-15 people to staff the bar. “We know this community can exist here. People forget that millennials have aged, and now they’re young professionals.”
Other On the List stakeholders include Aaron Franklin, who helped found the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce, and another anonymous investor who’s operated various bars and restaurants throughout Baton Rouge for years.