John Terzian On What Will Make Heart of Omnia Tick


John Terzian

Without a doubt, the Hakkasan Group is Las Vegas’ fastest growing nightlife organization. Not only has it acquired the Light Group locally, but it has also added Brian Malarkey’s San Diego-based restaurant empire to its portfolio and partnered with John Terzian, who operates the h.Wood Group. Terzian, a prolific Los Angeles-based entrepreneur, has made a name for himself in the entertainment sphere for operating some that city’s hottest restaurants (The Nice Guy), clubs (Hooray Henry’s, Bootsy Bellows), lounges (The Blind Dragon) and bars (SHOREbar) as well as curating some of the world’s most exclusive events (think Vanity Fair’s Oscar Bash). We caught up with the busy Angeleno to chat about his next project, Heart of Omnia in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and to learn what this impresario’s arrival means for the city.

When you partnered with Hakkasan Group, did you know you would soon be operating venues in Las Vegas?
I didn’t go in thinking that, but Hakkasan’s strong presence in Vegas was a major bonus for me. Having a club in Vegas has always been a goal, but I’ve said I would never open in Las Vegas if it wasn’t done right, and in my opinion there is not a better company than Hakkasan in Vegas to work with. I certainly did not expect to be as excited as I am for Vegas, but I am—especially with the type of programming that we have coming up.

What can you tell us about that programming?
I’m really utilizing my L.A. and New York contacts in Vegas. For example, [Justin] Bieber’s 21st birthday [March 14 at Omnia] and the [upcoming] W Magazine party is a really good example of people doing stuff with us in Vegas. Our group has cultivated these relationships, and we are bringing them to Vegas. I’m excited to integrate these relationships into the local Vegas community; that’s really what my plan has been. As far a music programming goes, the emphasis will be on open format, which includes a fair amount of hip-hop these days.

It’s no secret that you’re friendly with Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun. Will the Bieb’s party be in the main room or inside Heart of Omnia?
He’s having the party at Heart of Omnia, and he’ll absolutely be in the main room as well. He’s friends with Martin Garrix who Scooter also manages. It’s one big family, which is great—exactly what I want.

Now that you’re coming to Las Vegas, what’s your long-term plan?
We really want to open Bootsy Bellows in Vegas. It’s a brand that’s fitting there. I think we would shine, so the reason why Heart of Omnia makes sense for us is that it’s a first step for us to be there and to really become integrated within the city. Hakkasan is the operator and owner and they’re the best at what they do. We think we’re pretty solid at our marketing and our crowd and our clients and the way we handle them, so it’s just a great recipe. We will only get stronger together.

Bootsy Bellows has always been known as the proverbial “hard door” in L.A. Will Heart of Omnia’s door be as difficult to get through?
Our plan is to be exclusive, that’s the goal, but not in a too-cool way. It will actually be a place that caters to locals, because what we want is our regulars there. It’s not just about celebrities and tastemakers, it’s about people that are going to be there week in, week out and those people are the locals. Body English is a good example. It’s been a long time since someone has really achieved what they did, so that’s what we’re going to try to do. My partners Brian [Toll], David [Arquette, yes that David Arquette] and I will live there the opening month, and then we will be there physically—one of us or all of us—every weekend for a while to really handle people there. We’re [also] going to have our promoters and doormen out there handling the door. This isn’t a fake show for a launch. We really are committed to making a place that is a safe haven for celebrities and tastemakers, as well as catering to our regulars and locals.

Will Heart have a completely separate entrance from Omnia?

Heart has a separate entrance once inside [Omnia].

Will anyone be able to get in?
When it comes to locals and hotel guests, as long as we can accommodate them we will, but it’s one of those things where it’s a small room, so we have to be careful. We can’t be overcrowded, as we want people to feel safe in there and happy in there.

How much autonomy has Hakkasan Group given you?
You know, I couldn’t ask for a better partner. Hakkasan has been amazing to us. It’s really hand in hand. I don’t even know if it’s autonomy. I don’t really want it to be autonomy with them. They listen, and when it comes to Heart, it’s our activation, it’s our ideas, it’s our everything, but they’re involved in every step. They back and help me, they know the market, they know the infrastructure, they know the people—so there are a lot of aspects that we lean on them for.

You sound pretty confident about your ability to succeed in Las Vegas. Are you?
I’ve seen a lot of operators go into Vegas over the past 10 years thinking that they can just invade and take over. I do not think that’s possible, nor do I want that to be possible. I am extremely careful in the sense that I think Vegas is its own living, breathing, unique place. When people are there, they want to be immersed in Vegas. What I want to do is create that experience, create that fun, and the only difference with me is the way we operate and take care of clients, regulars and people. We try to convey an extra sense of warmth and love. That’s what I think is sometimes lacking and I what we’re going to really attempt to bring here.

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