As a Winnipeg interior decorator, one of the most challenging and interesting projects I have completed to date would be the redesign of Club Morocco into a modern nite club. In the 1960s one of the most popular night spots in Winnipeg was Club Morocco. At the time Winnipeg was a Canadian hot spot for stars like Barbra Steisand. Club Morocco owner, Harry Smith, featured some of the top stars of the time. The club had a dress code where men were required to wear a jacket and tie. Rental jackets were made available for those who came with out one. Speak to anyone who was old enough in the 60s to go to a club and they will probably tell you of their visits to Club Morocco.
In 2009, when I first entered the club, it was dark and dreary. At this point I was glad to be meeting with the owners and happy that workers would be around when I visited, as the atmosphere sent shivers up my spine. The walls were coated with multiple layers of paint, covering what was at one time very modern and up to-date wall applications popular in the 60s. The carpet moth eaten. Gone was the large plaster cast fountain of the 4 Moroccan women pouring water from an urn. Still present were some of the antiques from when the building was built, bar tables with ornate legs, water heater register covers. The most spectacular part of the club was the front V.I.P. area with its large windows overlooking Portage Avenue.
- re-design the floor space, windows, and provide a furniture layout
- create a color scheme
- source commercial carpet, tiles, counters upholstered furniture, and window coverings
- design a bar
- When designing for the new club, attention was payed to the 1912 design of the building and the original Club Morocco. Silver sectionals for the V.I.P. area of the club were selected with a 1960s retro flare. The purple drapery was selected because it reminded me of an old theater, yet had the glamor that club morocco had been noted for.
While working at the club, I decided to pay a visit to Old House Revival, which was kitty corner to the club via the back lane. Much to my surprise, located high up on one of the back walls of the antique store was the plaster cast fountain of the four Moroccan woman. For anyone interested in seeing the fountain it still remains at Old House Revival. According to the proprietor of the antique store, the owner of Club Morocco had the fountain removed from the club and transported to his home on Wellington Ave where it remained until he passed. At that point the owner of Old House Revival made arrangements to purchase it and move it to his store.
After an extensive renovation of tearing down walls, recessing windows that had once been boarded up, painting, meeting code, etc. the club re-opened as Level ll. I was called upon in 2011 to work on the club once again to up-grade the decor. Funds were limited during the first renovation, so after a couple of years of success the owners wanted to upgrade and add some details to the decor that had to be skipped the first time.
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