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Entrepreneur Terry Clarke Says Diversification Is The Key To Making An Entertainment Business A Success
By Tina Traster
The website says it’s “Nyack’s Hottest Adult Art Entertainment Spot” – but it’s not what you think. Not even close.
Black Parakeetz Paint, Swig and Sing! is about group fun: painting with friends, drinking high-end cocktails at the martini bar, and karaoke in a super-sleek setting. There’s also food, including pizza, at the newly opened venue at 298 Main Street off Route 9W.
Welcome to Terry Clarke’s vision for an adult mecca for making memories, letting loose, and finding ways to have fun at night beyond a sports bar. To hedge their bets in a volatile economy, the Pearl River resident, and his wife Naomi, have gambled on a diversified offering of entertainment under one roof. Paint & Sip might appeal to a group of women on a hen’s night out but afterwards they might try some karaoke. Or those is search of sophisticated cocktails may start at the bar but end up ordering a pizza or hummus and chips and then picking up the mic.
“One income stream is not enough,” said Clarke, who spent two years searching for the right location in Nyack to open his dream concept. “Diversification is what entrepreneurs need to think about to attract a wider audience, to leverage their business.”
Clarke is 61 years old, and by his own description, “close to retirement age, but not old.” Having worked in the belly’s beast of both the pharmaceutical and computer industry, the entrepreneur said “I have an underfunded 401K, and I decided to take what was left and do something exciting. I knew I needed to take a risk before it was too late.”
But there was one guiding force for Clarke’s new endeavor: fun.
“When I was thinking about what I’d do next I decided it had to be something I enjoy, something I love, something I have fun doing.”
Which is what led to the initial concept of karaoke because Clarke and his wife are hardcore karaoke partakers.
“There is no high-end karaoke place in Rockland County,” said the Parakeetz owner. “There’s one place that looks like a conference room. But I wanted to create a place where women will dress up, sing their hearts out, take Instagram shots, and feel sexy doing it.”
Clarke leased 2,000 square feet and divided the chic but colorful venue to use 400 square feet for karaoke and another 400 square feet for paint and sip. The karaoke room holds up to 25 people. The bar and restaurant round out the rest of the space, which is covered with serious art.
He’s poured more than $200,000 into the business, counting on its unique combination of entertainment to be successful.
The club owner sees Paint & Sip as a lure to get patrons to partake in karaoke.
“Typically, people do paint and sip but it’s an anticlimactic experience,” he said. “You go, you paint, you listen to half-weight music, the drink selection is limited, the food offerings amount to mozzarella sticks and pretzels. But it’s not like you’re a nine-year-old at paint your pottery. That’s why we put it all together with professional artist Raquel Malta leading the class, classy drinks, the right art on the walls, the right music, it’s a holistic experience.”
Clarke says his multi-faceted concept taps into a desire to let loose and enjoy a night out, especially as the nation tries to extricate itself from an inhibiting and claustrophobic pandemic.
“People want more for date night,” Clarke said. “They want more than sitting on a stool watching television at a sports bar.”
He also sees Black Parakeetz as an opportunity for corporate team building outings and private parties.
On tap for the future is coffee and Night Owl cookies because as Clarke says, “where in Nyack can you get anything sweet after 10 pm?”
It’s unclear what else may end up under the roof of Black Parakeetz; we’ll have to wait and see.
Black Parakeetz opens on Thursdays and Fridays at 5:30, and noon on Saturdays and Sundays.