New nightclub inspired by Zenaku anime opens in Houston this month
With an anime inspired theme, patrons will find Houston’s brand new nightclub unlike anything they have ever seen before. Following the same footsteps as Cherry, the Houston bar with an early 80s motif, Zenaku, is Carson Hager’s second and newest downtown concept Hospital Viking Group. Thematically, Zenaku goes one step further than its other concepts, and the minute guests walk through the doors, they will be transported to a colorful hideaway that comes alive at night.
“So the tale of what would lead us to all of our design decisions and how we took this thing was that you, as the customer, are living in an animated version of San Francisco“, says Hager Houstonia that the idea is “The client has heard of this new nightclub near Japantown that has this wild dance floor with these crazy moves and a projection on every wall.”
With a vision of something out of the norm in Houston, Hager hopes patrons have a crazy experience at his new bar, comparing Zenaku to something one might see in Las Vegas. He knows it’s an idea not everyone will appreciate, but Hager says he’s ready to push the boundaries with his design.
Hager builds on his old career in tech and his now-sold software company, SafeFun, to bring his idea to life. Using elements such as digital mapping, a technique that includes a system of cameras and computers, along with cartoon-inspired graphics and artwork, Zenaku goes from an unpretentious bar to a vivid experience. and immersive. On the first floor, guests can expect to see great energy in every corner of the bar, with a quirky dance floor and all that is alive, including the walls. Upstairs is an intimate and semi-exclusive lounge where guests will have the opportunity to enjoy six sections that will be open for reservations and bottle service.
“Anime is fantastic for nightclubs, it’s really visual,” says the owner. “It’s hypersexualized, it has all kinds of themes and varieties of great storytelling stuff that we love.”
With control at his fingertips, Hager can choose whether the paintings are static or in motion, as if the images wink at guests. It also has the option to completely change the graphics displayed, but according to Hager, those who want to learn more about the exclusive features of the nightclub will have to see it for themselves upstairs after midnight. These animations can also be seen when ordering drinks, with the bar transforming into a giant TV screen, where the menu literally floats in front of them. Zenaku’s cocktail menu also aligns with the nightclub theme, with drinks inspired by the cartoons of well-known characters.
“Come have fun,” Hager says. “Come dance, come see some crazy stuff on the walls. You know, bring your friends, go crazy.”
Houstonians who wish to immerse themselves in the story of Zenaku inspired by the anime of San Francisco can visit, starting November 12. Zenaku will be open Friday through Saturday from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.