Eric Cox240 S. Meridian St.
Hiding behind a very nondescript door at 240 S. Meridian St., Blu Lounge blossoms the farther one penetrates. The droll exterior and entryway don't evoke visions of a tres chic Euro club experience. But once inside, Blu's décor and just-loud-enough sound system offer a comfy respite.
Housed in a long, yawning, cavernous space, the club abounds with succinct and subtle sensory stimuli. Flowing taffeta curtains descend from the 18-foot ceilings as house music thumps low and dark from a dozen top-notch speakers. The sound bounces off the cool, textured concrete floor and ricochets off high-backed booths and glowing flat-screen TVs. Reservable nooks and VIP rooms beckon revelers in search of comfort, splendor, decadence. State-of-the-art, computer-controlled dance floor lighting contrasts with vintage chandeliers and tiny, twinkling pendant lights that dangle like stalactites from a blue, pressed-tin ceiling.
One might expect that such tastefully hip décor might've leapt from the creative mind of a top urban decorator. Surprisingly though, Blu's spectacular interior was designed, in part, by its owner, 36-year-old Indy native Shawn Cannon. He borrowed ideas from Italian clubs and popular Manhattan nightspots. Plus, he admits sheepishly, his mother helped pick out many of the club's clever treatments.
Following a trend found in several other Indy clubs, Blu Lounge offers a range of areas for private parties and get-togethers as well as business meetings and PowerPoint presentations. On the ground floor, a small bedroom-like space features a thick, crushed velour mound in the center of which is sunk an aluminum tray. A video panel adorns the draped bedroom with an ethereal light as a party of five lounges and laughs on the snow-white pseudo bed.
Blu attracts a diverse crowd: Twenty-somethings share space with 50-somethings while the 30- and 40-somethings mix and mingle in obvious comfort.
And comfort is clearly the key here. Modern, luxurious seating, both public and private, abounds at Blu. Bar seating and a long, padded bench is the only non-reservation space available. Clearly, the reservations-required VIP areas are the places to be.
Refreshments, hustled here and there by attractive, cordial waitresses, include the usual bevy of top shelf liquors, imported and domestic beers and high-end martinis. An ample list of interesting appetizers is the club's only food offering.
It's easy to get absorbed at Blu, to forget about the cruel world and its harsh realities, to settle in and call home this luxurious cocoon. But it's all just a captivating illusion. The truth about Blu comes just inside the club's front door. There, about 8 feet up one massive wall, reflecting the rollicking rumba of the bartender's martini shaker, are the polished aluminum words "Relax Enjoy Indulge."