I first met Harry Kaufmann in 2005 when he then owned a small successful open-air bar/nightclub on the corner of Nai Harn lake in Rawai. Since that meeting I went onto open my own bar on Rawai beach for a couple of years and Harry gave me some great advice during that time.
The success of Harry’s business, however, went from strength to strength and he soon moved onto Viset main road in Rawai where he is located now. Having previously created two fully kitted out indoor nightclubs and a complex of uniquely styled themed bars known as “Laguna Plaza” – at this new location – Harry and his team have refurbished the club now called “Club ZHU” and created something quite spectacular.
Harry told the Bowl that he is from Munich and first came to Phuket to make it his home in 2000. When referring to his journey from the business’s humble beginnings he said, “There was always ups and downs, but we enjoyed the journey pretty much…most of the times”.
“I enjoy helping people have good times, it was always my dream to have a nightclub”.Harry Kaufmann, owner of Club ZHU, Rawai, Phuket.
We learned that professionally he has always been involved with restaurants and bars, and that entertaining is his passion. “I enjoy helping people have good times, it was always my dream to have a nightclub” he added. I’ve personally always liked, and respected Harry and I warmed to his cool natural presence.
I moved onto General Manager Russel to reveal details about the stunning new Club ZHU and its concept. Russel is also a man who knows this business and told the Bowl how he has been involved in DJing and producing music for 30 years.
I mentioned that the Club ZHU website states that the Club has been styled using references and elements from mystic ancient China, the great palaces, and the Forbidden City of the Ming Emperors which I personally love, but where did the name ZHU come from?
Russel explained that during the Ming dynasty there was a lot of in country tribal fighting, so the Emperor decided to bring them all together under one unified house that he named ZHU.
“We wanted to create a place where people can come together regardless of background, race or colour and have a good time”.Russel, General Manager of Club ZHU, Rawai, Phuket.
Merging this concept with the Club, Russel said “We wanted to create a place where people can come together regardless of background, race or colour and have a good time”.
I asked what guests can expect from an evening at ZHU as the website mentions a unique menu, 12 mezzanine private booths, amazing décor, and entertainment. Russel told the Farangbowl that there is a Thai tapas menu, and that food can be served to the private booths. The Club now has two levels, and the private air-conditioned booths can be found on the first and second floors. Harry mentioned that the ground floor is now completely none smoking with smoking only permitted upstairs. Russel added that this policy had been well received.
Russel went on to say that apart from the breath-taking décor of the new venue, entertainment also comes in the form of a huge video screen and stage, several costumed dancers, live percussionists and saxist and (get this) aerialists that are positioned and lowered over the dancefloor!!!
The music for the venue is where I personally believe ZHU is making bold moves by introducing less mainstream – in my words cheesy Euro dance that various clubs in Phuket are guilty of – music and looking to bring in International DJ’s. When I previously visited ZHU, resident DJ Darin Fox was playing some cool Tech House and was taking the roof off. That being said, Russel added that there are several nights in a week, and they must cater for all. On the night of the interview, they were staging a Hip Hop night following the success of a previously packed-out venue a couple of weeks prior.
I summerised by asking both Harry and Russel if there were any future plans or if Club ZHU was THE future plan and they confirmed they just wanted to rightfully focus on the new Club.
The following week was the Grand Opening ‘Red Party’ where guests were invited to attend in red only. The Farangbowl was given permission to return and film this event which was a sight to behold with a red-carpet entrance, various Geisha costumed models, dancers, DJ’s and performers. The pictures included here and the video that supports this article below will do more than my words can in describing how elaborate and special this evening was. Do enjoy.
Thank you to Harry, Russel and Christine for agreeing to be interviewed by the Farangbowl and for inviting them to film the Grand Opening ‘Red Party’ night. Club ZHU is a now in the Farangbowl’s opinion a permanent fixture on Phuket’s premier entertainment map.
Thank you for reading.
General Manager: Russel
Marketing: Christine Lew
Address: 178, 15 Wiset Rd, Rawai, Amphoe Mueang Phuket, Phuket 83100
Call: 065 669 8655
Google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/YaytnDxvC7rNXSSHA
To watch the video that supports this article please use the media viewer below or go to the Farangbowl YouTube Channel.