New club brings ‘classy’ experience to Joplin

Club 502 aims to be the premier night club in the Joplin area in appearance, service and clientele.

Club 502 aims to be the premier night club in the Joplin area in appearance, service and clientele.

Auriel Brown

While many night spots in Joplin come and go, club owner Paul Zimmerman said he has found the secret to night club success.

Club 502 made its debut on the corner of Fifth Street and Joplin Avenue on April 2.

Zimmerman said since its opening, the club’s turnout has been incredible.

“Just this past Friday and Saturday we had a waiting line both nights,” he said.

Zimmerman said people and Joplin have been asking for a classy place to go to, and now they have one.

With candlelit tables, theatrical drapery and black leather chairs in the club, Zimmerman said the club’s interior has an “eclectic, broad range theme.”

Zimmerman said customers have compared the club to those in bigger cities because of its unique look.

Aside from its appearance, Zimmerman said the features of Club 502 keep it interesting for the customers.

As for the entertainment aspect, the club has a mixed format of music from 70s through the 90s and periodically stops the music to play funny movie clips on the projection screen televisions.

There is also shadow dancing.

For those who do not like the loud music and business of the dance area, there is a quiet spot closed off from the rest of the club.

Brandy Brewer, senior elementary education major, said she has worked at a lot of clubs, and she thinks Club 502 is a more upscale establishment.

“I think it’s a higher level of service,” Brewer said.

While Brewer said she thinks the club may overall appeal to the older crowd, younger customers will like it because everyone does not always like the intense rush of other clubs.

Brewer said club-goers generally dress up because it is a nice place.

The Club has Happy Hour every Wednesday through Friday with food options from a shrimp or taco and nacho bar to Wok N Roll.

It also has a martini and coffee menu.

Zimmerman has owned clubs in Joplin for 11 years. He said he thinks there was finally a market for an upscale nightclub in Joplin, and the responses have been exceptional.

“I’ve owned 17 nightclubs in the Midwest and I’ve received the most overwhelmingly positive response from this one,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman is also the owner of Jukebox, Club Miami and the former Kage.

The interest in the entertainment business comes from Zimmerman’s desire to see other’s have a good time and also the economic aspect of it.

“It’s a people business,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman said to make sure everyone has a good time he provides the type of establishment in which all types of people can enjoy themselves.

He said his real focal point is a nice, relaxed environment.

“It starts by who you allow through the door,” he said.

Zimmerman makes it a point to be 100 percent involved in what goes on with his club.

He said you can catch him walking around with a rag in his hand cleaning as the night goes on and frequently stands at the door to monitor who comes in to ensure an enjoyable evening.

Club 502 is open 5:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Wednesday through Friday and 7:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. on Saturdays.