Downtown Houston has a new place to party. Meet Base, a new nightclub located in Market Square.
Don’t let the name cause confusion about a potentially Astros-themed spot. Base’s name is meant to be taken literally, as it occupies the basement of 801 Congress Ave.
The club is the latest project from Concepts To Fruition (also known as C2F), a veteran group of operators behind a number of places in Midtown and on Washington Avenue. Rather than deliver something similar to their previous efforts, a partner tells CultureMap the goal was to channel a New York-style aesthetic.
The whole experience has a bit of an air of mystery. Don’t expect a sign out front, although velvet ropes and a valet stand in front of an office building at 10 pm on a weekend offers an indication that something special is going on.
Enter through the lobby’s marble floor and take an elevator down. Patrons won’t see a doorway, but they will see a neon sign that reads “Shhh...” Push on the wall below the sign to enter the main part of the club.
The owners tout the design aesthetic as “billionaire’s basement.” With its sleek, modern furniture and a well-stocked bookcase lining one wall, the room certainly has a vibe that’s more comfortable hotel lobby bar than glitzy Vegas club. (If that lounge featured servers parading bottles of champagne and alcohol — Veuve Cliquot and Tito’s appeared popular at an invite-only preview party — in light up displays that make sure everyone knows who’s splurging, that is.)
Once inside, the most prominent feature is the dance floor, which resides beneath a lighting fixture that changes color, projects different shapes, and pulses with the music that emanates from the nearby DJ booth. A wide variety of tables and couches provide high rollers with a perch to observe the action.
Since the opening of the OKRA Charity Saloon in 2012, the area around Market Square has become a popular nightlife destination. At a time when more and more people are living downtown — Market Square alone features two luxury towers — the time seems right for a dance club that’s a little more sophisticated. With its hidden location and upscale vibe, Base could become this summer’s hottest party spot.