Buffalo Grove, Lake Zurich teens launch teen dance club business
Buffalo Grove teen Jeff Epstein and his business partner, Carlene Rubin of Lake Zurich, have started their own teen dance club, which will host its first event March 15 at the American Legion in Lake Zurich. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
TO INFINITY...AND BEYOND?
Infinity Nightclub has scheduled it first dance party for March 15
TIME: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
PLACE: American Legion, 51 Lions Drive in Lake Zurich
AGE: 16-20 will be admitted
COST: Cover charge is $15
DRESS: Epstein and Rubin ask guests to “dress to impress”
FOOD/DRINK: Soft drinks and snacks will be available for purchase
Updated: April 8, 2013 7:25AM
BUFFALO GROVE — One Facebook post says it all: “If this isn’t real I will cry.”
Two northwest suburban teens — one from Buffalo Grove and the other from Lake Zurich — are on a mission to bring a dance club for teens to the area.
“We’re pretty confident,” said Jeff Epstein, one of the two cofounders of Infinity Nightclub. “This has always been a dream of ours.”
Epstein, a senior at Stevenson High School, and Carly Rubin, a student from Lake Zurich, are scheduled to open Infinity for a “preview” night next weekend. The pair are members of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, a program of the Lake Zurich Chamber of Commerce, which requires participants to dream up, plan out and then open small business ventures.
Infinity is the result of the project Rubin and Epstein have been working on since late 2012.
“It’s Junior Achievement on steroids,” as Dale Perrin, executive director of the Lake Zurich chamber, described the academy.
Infinity is scheduled to open with a stable of six DJs, a security staff, a rented sound system and light show in a rented building and plenty of soft drinks for its under-21-only crowd.
Like an experienced businessman, Epstein declined to comment about how he and Rubin were paying the up-front costs. As for dealings with Village Hall, he said only that they were working with officials to find the right zoning for their venture.
Epstein and Rubin’s partnership has been two years in the making. The pair met at a Jewish youth group, and Rubin later invited him to check out YEA with her.
“I’ve always loved business,” and Epstein said he quickly loved the academy, too.
He credited Rubin with coming up with the idea of a teens-only dance club.
“We work well with each other, and we’ll be great business partners,” Epstein said. “Carly and I both love music, and being social. It seemed like a great opportunity.”
Several established nightclub owners have thought the same, but none have been able to find a formula that could make a teen dance club last.
The most recent attempt came at Buffalo Grove’s eSkape family entertainment center, which in 2010 and 2011 held a handful of teens-only nights in its dance hall. The Village Board put steep requirements for both private security and uniformed officers on the club’s bill, though, and eSkape shut that venture down before the summer of 2011.
The eSkape attempt included an age limit of 17 because managing partner Bill Feldgreber spoke of the liability concerns that could come with mixing adults and minors. Infinity’s first night will be for ages 16 to 20.
The American Legion Hall they are renting can fit 250 kids inside; and Rubin and Epstein have elicited strong feedback on their Facebook page and Twitter account.
It remains to be seen whether the idea can generate a profit, so the owners also are in the market for some outside support. On March 21, all of the academy’s participants will pitch their projects to a panel of angel investors.
Since Infinity is opening the weekend before, Rubin and Epstein have a chance to show potential investors their early returns.
The pair are seeking $3,000 from the angel investors.
Perrin has advised that complications and red tape could suffocate a professionally organized teen dance club. He also said there remains solid demand for another attempt.
“There certainly is a need for it,” he said. “Now, can they make that happen? That’s yet to be seen, but there certainly is a market.”