The many faces of The Warehouse


Warehouses are typically used by businesses to store goods and are usually seen in industrial areas of cities, towns, or villages and some are even built near ports.

A lot of warehouses were built on Saipan especially during the boom years of the garment industry in the ’90s. But the once thriving garment industry slowed down after being unable to compete with cheap labor from factories in China. As a result a lot of the island’s warehouses were abandoned.

Fortunately, the creative minds of the husband-and-wife team of Richard and Julien Cole recently found a new use for one of these warehouses.

The Coles gave one of the warehouses located at the Chalan Kiya Industrial Park, just past the Saipan Seventh Day Adventist School, a new lease in life by transforming it into a disco bar.

They kept the industrial atmosphere then made a few tweaks with the interior design, and voila! The Warehouse was born.

“We combined metal and wood to keep the atmosphere of a warehouse. A lot of people were delighted the first time they came here. The place is different but still has the feeling of a warehouse,” said Julien.

The Coles have been on Saipan for almost a year and they usually go to bars whenever they travel. Julien is always left at the house with Richard, being the president of Skydive Saipan, always busy with work.

“That’s why we thought of another business here. After Soudelor, GIG was damaged and there’s no bar or an open dance club here when things started to normalize after the typhoon. So we thought, ‘why not open another one?’ It is a big investment but it is fresh,” said Julien.

“We looked for a place and found this abandoned warehouse. We applied for a business license and completed all necessary documents then started renovating in December. We officially opened on April 15 and 16,” she added.

They hired Japanese DJ Daiki to entertain the crowd two weeks ago. They had more plans and other promos as crowd traffic starts to pick up.

Catering to all ages

Cole said that they are planning to have different themes and events everyday to cater to all ages and patrons. The Warehouse is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays and closed every Sundays and Mondays. They are open from 5pm to 2am every weekdays and 5pm to 4am every weekends.

“We are planning to have a Blast From the Past theme every Tuesday where the dance music will be from the ’60s to the ’90s. It will be simultaneous with our Taco Tuesdays where tacos are $1 each,” said Julien.

Wednesday is reserved for Karaoke for those who love to sing and Ladies Night, where female guests will get 50 percent off on all cocktails. Island and reggae music will take center stage every Thursday night with local bands performing.

DJs and other spinners will get the crowd dancing and up on their feet during weekends—Fridays and Saturdays.

“We are planning to also add a Country-Western theme in the future. We also wanted to attract the 50s and up market that’s why we have different themes,” she added.

The Warehouse serves appetizers and chasers with plans to add more restaurant fare in the future. They also have alcoholic drinks, with in-house cocktails mixed by their bartenders, and non-alcoholic drinks like smoothies and juices.

Julien said customers usually ask for The Warehouse Stackers—three mini burgers made from beef patty, pulled chicken, and pulled pork. There’s also the Buffalo chicken wings where customers can request the degree of spiciness.

More than just a bar

Julien, however, said they don’t want to be only labeled as a popular hangout or the newest party place on the island. She said they would like to offer more than that, informing everybody that The Warehouse is open for other events depending on the occasion.

The Warehouse has a huge dance floor and a big space that can fit 618 people. It has VIP and VVIP areas that can be rented with the former accommodating 10 to 12 persons, while the latter up to 20. The VVIP also comes with your own bar and cocktail mixer.

“We are open to any event. That’s why you can’t see any sign or logo of alcoholic drinks around the facility. We made sure that it would be wholesome especially with other events held here where there are minors,” she said.

“We are opening The Warehouse to any event. Whether it is a debut, birthdays, or other parties, weddings prom night, conferences, and huge meetings. We want to be a multi-function place,” she added.

Innovative plans

The Warehouse has a staff of 20—eight servers, four bartenders, four security personnel inside the facility, two barbacks, and two parking attendants.

“Our security at the door always checks your IDs, they ask our patrons politely and they won’t mind if it is their cousin or any other relative. We don’t want to have problems with our guests,” said Julien.

“Also, our parking attendants always check if one of our customers is too drunk to drive, they ask them if they have a companion that is sober to drive or if they wanted to have a cab pick them up. In the future, we plan to have a van ferry people, especially those who are too drunk to drive.”

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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