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The club Boston’s been missing has arrived.

The term “nightclub manager” carries some negative connotations: sniveling, garish, perhaps someone who cartoonishly rubs their hands together at the mere mention of money. And who can blame them? Amid its current cash-cow status, electronic music is bound to attract some of those unsavory entrepreneurial types that your mother always warned you about.

Thankfully, it’s not all bandwagoners looking to cash in on the glass-ceilinged craze. In fact, Randy Deshaies exists as the absolute inverse of the above outlined. With 15 years of promoting under his belt, the longtime Brighton resident possesses an all-knowing glut of wisdom that he’s poised to impart on Boston’s newest spot.

Arc is a 350-person capacity Back Bay club opening soon in the Beacon Street space that formerly housed An Tua Nua.

And lest the mere mention of a new Boston nightclub incite nausea, you can rest easy knowing that Deshaies has some perspective on it.

“There’s two things that exist in Boston right now,” he explains. “There’s really high-end nightclubs and then there’s dive bars, and that’s where all the really cool things are happening right now. But I feel like there’s a whole middle market that everybody’s missing. And that was pretty much our goal, to give the big club experience without the pretension.”

“Inclusive, not exclusive” is a coda that’s come up a lot while discussing Arc, since the owners of the one-time Irish pub hired Deshaies to front the conversion last month. The transformation ranged from obvious (no guestlist, no bottle service, no go-go dancers) to more nuanced (the booth sits on the floor, a small-but-undervalued step in assuring that people come to dance, not worship the DJ).

“I want it to be substantial, but I want it to be underground,” says Deshaies on his approach to netting talent to fill up the place on peak nights.

“Anybody can book a $20,000 DJ and pack the place. That’s not what we’re trying to do.”

This summer’s schedule indicates as much; names coy enough to incite knowing nods from those who intently chart dance music, but established enough to guarantee a good time for anybody who randomly happens upon the place. From techno to trance to house, all bets are off and no genre’s excluded. They even plan to resurrect An Tua Nua’s longstanding industrial goth night Ceremony, as well as a Wednesday evening Latin-themed offering.

The layout is centered around two main rooms, similar to An Tua Nua. The front will offer a respite from the back club area, with food offerings by way of chef John Geoffrion. Drinks will be handled by Rick Brust, who’s earned praise from GQ for his bloody mary at Allston’s Garage Lounge. It’s a team that Deshaies speaks highly of, confident in seeing through his vision.

“I just really hope this takes off,” he says. “This is my dream job.”

For anyone sick of the current nightlife status quo, those are words to take comfort in.



Michael is Level 6 Based. If you see him out, buy him a drink because he is awesome and cool.

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