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Tabu focuses on great music, party atmosphere, quality customer service

Anthony Olheiser recalls that, when Tabu opened at the MGM Grand in early 2003, it was one of the first, if not the first, ultralounge in town.

And, given Tabu’s pioneering status, it’s probably not surprising that Olheiser, the MGM Grand’s director of nightlife, even today occasionally finds himself having to define the term.

Basically, Olheiser says, "ultralounge" is "just another term for boutique nightclub," where a party atmosphere, great music, a focus on bottle service and "a high level of customer service" are the norm.

At Tabu Ultra Lounge, he adds, "we’re going back to the fundamentals of the lounge experience."

At Tabu, patrons fill the main floor and a raised section that serves as a VIP area. The room is intimate and cozy, with an ambient sound level that lends itself to actual conversation.

"A lot of clubs have a booming sound system," Olheiser says. "We set it at a level where you can actually hear the person next to you."

But Tabu is no library, either. Nonstop lights, interactive tabletops — touch a screen and scratch a virtual LP or create a splash in an animated stream — and a state-of-the-art sound system playing what Olheiser calls "very high-energy" music spun by world-renowned DJs combine to create a decidedly partylike atmosphere.

Because Tabu is intimate — it holds about 350 — "we can really focus on service," Olheiser adds, spearheaded by model/servers serving up nouveau classic cocktails.

Las Vegas’ nightlife scene has become crowded since Tabu’s opening night. But "that’s why we focus on things we can control," Olheiser says. "We can control the music, we can control the level of service, we can control the events we throw and the DJs we bring in.

"So, with those things, it doesn’t really matter how many more clubs open up."

Tabu Ultra Lounge is open Thursdays through Mondays from 10 p.m. until closing which, Olheiser says, usually means around 4 or 5 a.m. on weekdays and later on weekends.

Cover charges range from $20 to $30, but locals are always admitted for free.

For more information, call 891-7183. For bottle service reservations, call 891-7129.

Contact reporter John Przybys at jprzybys@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0280.

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