Club Rush — local teen club opens its doors

Published 12:28 am Wednesday, February 4, 2009

They are here to dance, here to play pool and here to have fun, said Lori Karahalios of Club Rush, the most recent teen club to open its doors in Pearl River County. Together with partner Melissa Plaisance, these women hope to achieve where those who have gone before them did not. They said they plan to last by being innovative, creative and, every so often, reinventing the wheel.

Club Rush is the only teen club in existence currently in the county. It’s located on U.S. Highway 11 North in Carriere. A pre-grand opening occurred on December 12, 2007, where parents where invited to tag along with their teens. Karahalios and Plaisance both said parents are always welcome and encouraged to accompany their children anytime they are in the club. They also have at least 4 adults supervising at all times and said “we have eyes everywhere.”

Club Rush has a set of posted rules by the entryway to hopefully prevent incidents from occurring that would jeopardize the safety of the teens while they are in the building, such as no reentry.

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“The way I am as a mom is how I run my business,” said Plaisance. Karahalios said she has always been involved with the youth at her church, and she has daughters. They want teens to have a comfortable, no-pressure, clean place where they can dance, play pool, have fun and hopefully be safer than they would be on the streets or hanging out in parking lots.

Club Rush provides a “teen-friendly” environment with black lighting, glow in the dark paints, colorful laser lights, fog machines and three themed VIP lounges available for private parties. There is a cafe, video games and pool tables. A DJ provides a wide-variety of music, which has been pre-screened for offensive language.

Since opening its doors, Club Rush has seen the crowd grow from approximately 20 teens to just about 75 on average, said Karahalios and Plaisance. They said the current set-up can accommodate up to 200 teens. They also have plans for an expansion if the current upward trend continues. Their current clientele is largely Pearl River Central student based. They hope that as word spreads they will attract students from all over the county.

“I enjoy it,” said Plaisance. “This is the most enjoyable thing I’ve ever done.” Both women have owned and operated their own businesses prior to this one, and both say, by far, this has so been the most rewarding.

As for staying power, they have several ideas on tap.

They said they take suggestions for themed parties, such as the Valentine’s day sweetheart dance, a Mardi Gras party and a Hawaiian luau. By summer, they hope to have sand volley ball courts for volley ball games. They also hope to expand their hours of operation during the summer.

Karahalios is looking forward to hosting a couple of canned food drives which will be donated to a local charity.

The club is currently open on Fridays and Saturdays for teens ages 13-18. The cost to get in is $4, which includes the Club Rush wristband. Cafe snacks and drinks and the games are extra. VIP lounge rentals are also available for a separate fee.

Club Rush is for the kids and for the community, said the partners. They hope it succeeds, they said, because for them it more than just a business.