San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Space Jam: Fancy new Jacó club opens with a bang

“In Space no one can hear you scream.” That’s the slogan of Jacó’s hot new nightlife venue, and it proved mostly true on the club’s opening night. As things picked up around 11 p.m., the only discernible voice was that of Ludacris, blasted over the state-of-the-art sound system asking a young lady to, ahem, kindly remove herself from his path during a remixed version of “Move.” The full house guzzled expensive cocktails, twerking and throwing their hands up, and it seemed clear that Space has set a new benchmark for nightlife in Costa Rica. 

Owned by Grupo Le Loft, Space is urban Brooklyn meets upscale discotheque, and it’s just one project that the entertainment company has on its plate. Headed by New York City native Adam Silverstein, Grupo Le Loft has been slowly establishing itself as the premier nightlife enterprise in Costa Rica. Silverstein launched Jacó’s first club, Le Loft, five years ago, and Space marks his fifth nightlife spot in Costa Rica.

screaming in space

Before its opening, the club displayed this ominous sign. 

Tico Times

He has no plans to slow down, with further expansion already underway at Knockouts, an MMA-themed sports bar in Jacó. Silverstein’s group is also in advanced stages of a negotiation to bring another large resort and casino to the tourist-heavy town on the central Pacific coast.         

With Space, Silverstein envisioned a club like those in the meatpacking district of New York City, only with a pub-crawl mentality, he said. The physical layout of Jacó allows for easy barhopping, and party seekers tend to move quickly between venues. Silverstein knows this and hopes to capitalize on the uniquely fancy atmosphere of Space. “I love a dive bar,” he said, “but I also love fine dining. We want to give people another option.”

Located on the second floor of the commercial center El Galeone in the spot formerly occupied by Plankton, the vibe of Space is worlds away from that of the former tenant. The mostly black interior is bordered with urban designs by world-renowned graffiti artist Erni Vales, and the various VIP sections – a staple of Le Loft properties – are equipped with comfortable black couches, areas for dancing and a full bottle service menu. The walls of each booth contain at least one creative design by Vales, with one wall spelling out the club’s name in innovative imagery. 

space decor

Graffiti artist Erni Vales was hired to tag the inside walls of Space. By Andrew Woodbury

The non-VIP section includes a spacious dance floor, which begins at the double-door entrance and stretches into the bar located at the opposite end of the club. For those seeking fresh air, there is also a small balcony with a view of the main strip. Add unisex bathrooms with floor-to-ceiling mirrors and sharp acrylic sinks, a “furry wall” designed after the movie “Get Him to the Greek,” and a wide drink selection of both domestic and imported alcohol, and Space makes a great first impression.    

Apart from layout, the music sets Space apart from its down-the-block brother, Le Loft. On opening night, New York’s DJ BeatBreaker showed the crowd what can be expected, putting together a variety of reggaeton, house and hip-hop mixes that had the dance floor packed until closing.

The cool visuals, hired dancers and range of exotic beverage options don’t come cheap, though. With cover charges ranging from ₡2,000-5,000 ($4-10) depending on when you arrive, drinks costing at least ₡1,500 ($3), and pricy VIP menus, a heavy wallet is recommended. The price scheme is not an accident, though.

With the momentum behind Grupo Le Loft’s expansion, Space has hit a niche that Jacó hasn’t seen: upscale nightlife. “We’re not snobs. But we do want to have an upscale, safe environment,” Silverstein said. “People of Jacó shouldn’t have to settle.”

Space is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. On Fridays, ladies get in free and are treated to open bar and free bottles in VIP.

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