Lifestyle

Seven West—Oak Harbor's new downtown club—boasts dress code, celebrities

Seven West owner Darnell Allen lounges on a zebra-striped couch in the back room/dance area of the club, also nicknamed “the play house.” The club’s design is bright and geometric, and it includes a “Laker’s hallway” with purple and gold paint and decor for the Los Angeles basketball team. - Liz Burlingame/Whidbey News-Times
Seven West owner Darnell Allen lounges on a zebra-striped couch in the back room/dance area of the club, also nicknamed “the play house.” The club’s design is bright and geometric, and it includes a “Laker’s hallway” with purple and gold paint and decor for the Los Angeles basketball team.
— image credit: Liz Burlingame/Whidbey News-Times

Having grown up in Los Angeles, Darnell Allen is familiar with the celebrity, style and exclusivity of L.A. dance clubs.

It’s a mood he wants to bring to Oak Harbor with his new club Seven West; named for Biblical perfection “seven,” and the West Coast.

The club had its debut opening Nov. 6 and Allen was poised to bring a sophisticated venue to mature crowds. Abstract art and patterned wallpaper decorated the walls and the low-lit chandeliers gave the place an upscale feel.

“I want it to be like Vegas or Hollywood,” Allen said.

The 27-year-old may have an easier time than most creating a celebrity-charged atmosphere, as famous family members are lending him a hand.

His uncle, Jeff Henderson, designed the menu items which range from Southern cuisine to bar favorites.

Henderson is a best-selling author and award-winning chef. His new show on the Food Network, is called “The Chef Jeff Project.”

And Allen’s cousins, Jamal and Jerod Mixon, will make guest appearances at Seven West. The brothers have acted in Hollywood for over 20 years, appearing in films such as “Old School,” “The Nutty Professor,” and Jerod played Jim Carrey’s son in “Me, Myself and Irene.”

“We’re trying to raise the bar in Oak Harbor,” Allen said. “The whole entire Seven West is VIP.”

In this sense, showing up on a Friday night in an athletic jersey and ripped jeans won’t impress the bouncer. In fact, you might be turned away. Allen is enforcing a dress code, which excludes sweats, sports attire and beach wear.

“The dress code raises the bar and I feel like people will act more pleasant after hours,” Allen said, adding it might diminish fights or loitering. “There’s an old spirit of dressing up for the weekend.”

The club will have a new party theme each weekend which will sometimes be based on Zodiac signs, such as the “Scorpio Party” last Saturday. On weekdays, the club will be used to watch sporting events.

Patrons can expect a wide-range of music, from new music to Earth Wind and Fire. The playlist is strongly influenced by Allen, and delivered by DJ Artemis.

“Randomly, I’ll just play ‘Luck be a Lady Tonight.’ It makes people remember what it’s all about when you dress up,” Allen said.

Seven West is Allen’s first endeavor at owning and managing a nightclub. A retired aviation electrician for the Navy, he moved to Oak Harbor in 2000 with wife Denise Suarez and kids Destiney, Delhani and Darnell Jr. Suarez helped him with the design.

The club is located about a block away from another popular weekend hotspot, The Element, at 780 SE Bayshore Drive. It shares a building with Indulge Salon and Spa.

For more information on hours, drink specials, events, updates and more, visit www.myspace.com/se7enwest.

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