New Bismarck dance club caters to 18 to 20 year olds

2010-11-07T22:30:00Z 2010-11-08T13:40:27Z New Bismarck dance club caters to 18 to 20 year oldsJenny Michael, Bismarck Tribune Bismarck Tribune
November 07, 2010 10:30 pm  • 

By day, Ivan Makuve works at a bank. His night jobs aren’t quite so buttoned down.

“People don’t recognize me when I’m actually at the bank,” he said with a laugh.

Makuve, 31, spends weekends as the disc jockey at Captain Freddy’s. He also promotes hip-hop acts. And, most recenly, he opened Bismarck’s only dance club for people 18 and older.

The dance club, located in Gateway Mall, does not serve alcohol and is open to anyone 18 years old or older. It’s not the first such effort in Bismarck but Makuve hopes it will be a longterm venture that spreads to other North Dakota cities.

Makuve’s not-quite North Dakotan accent give away that he’s not from around here. The South Africa native landed in Bismarck by way of the United Kingdom and East Texas. It was in the Lone Star State that he began DJing — as a “club” DJ, not a wedding DJ, he makes sure to clarify.

From Texas, he followed his brother, whose wife is from here, to North Dakota. He began doing promotions and bringing artists to the area to perform. Most of the people who showed up were 18 and older, and many were in the 18 to 20 age group. He realized there weren’t a lot of that type of entertainment options for people not old enough to get into bars.

“I felt there was a need to have an 18 and up dance club,” he said, noting he formerly operated a similar venue in Minot.

Makuve named his venture Palm Beach Club in hopes that he could provide a feeling of warmth to the cold northern region.

“It’s winter all the time, so we might as well give it something warm,” he said laughing.

Palm Beach Club began before summer this year and started out in Mandan’s Mysteria Theater. The facility wasn’t set up in a way conducive for a dance club venue, so Makuve moved his project to Gateway Mall. The dances, mostly held on Thursday nights, so far have been held in the old CVS location but will move to the old Hansen’s Men’s Wear location.

While the club is a business, Makuve believes it also can serve an important service to the community: providing a place for adults not old enough for the bars to go and have a good time without drinking. Makuve also may DJ at a bar, but his focus is the music, not the alcohol.

“It doesn’t mean you have to drink. You can have a good time without being drunk,” he said.

Bismarck Police Deputy Chief Dan Donlin supports Makuve’s efforts. He said complaints of “nothing to do” for young adults in Bismarck have persisted since his own childhood, and it’s good to see someone try to do something about it.

“I think it’s a great alcohol-free opportunity for that age group to have something else to do,” he said.

Many events in the Bismarck area seem to revolve around the ability to sell and consume alcohol, Donlin said. He said alcohol is a contributing factor to many crimes in the area, so having events that don’t cater to alcohol seems like a positive step.

Makuve has contracted the Bismarck Police Department at the rate of $43 an hour per officer to provide police for the dances along with his security, as is allowed by law, Donlin said. At first, only one officer would work the dances, but as crowds grew, police and Makuve decided to add a second officer. On two occasions, plainclothes officers have patrolled the parking lot in an effort to cut down on the drinking and urinating that have been the most common complaints, Donlin said.

Officers working at the dances have applauded Makuve’s efforts to keep trouble out, Donlin said. He said there have been few problems inside, and most issues revolve around people in the parking lot before, after and during the dances.

“It’s a pretty peaceful environment,” Makuve said.

He mostly has played Top 40 selections at the Thursday night dances. However, he hopes to find DJs who specialize in other genres, such as hip hop or techno, and offer dances on more nights.

Makuve said people who come to the club usually dress up for a night on the town. Though the majority of his clientele is in the target range of 18 to 20 years old, that hasn’t stopped some people above the legal drinking age from checking out the events. He’s had people come from as far as Dickinson to check out the dances, and he hopes someday he or another DJ will be able to put similar businesses in other North Dakota cities.

“They can come out and just party and get tired and go home,” Makuve said.

(Reach reporter Jenny Michael at 250-8225 or

Copyright 2015 Bismarck Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(17) Comments

  1. eddifiedtavous
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    eddifiedtavous - November 13, 2010 6:25 am
    I wish I was able to have access to something like this when I was living in Bismarck, going to college. This is a great idea for kids to socialize in a safe and alcohol-free environment. They are able to go out and have fun without having to deal with drunks or feel pressured to consume alcohol. Overall, this is something Bismarck needs to keep around!
  2. Commenter
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    Commenter - November 12, 2010 5:28 pm
    Mdngal....good post..Agree 100%!
  3. mdngal
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    mdngal - November 11, 2010 1:43 pm
    You know, Boss, maybe alcohol is necessary for YOUR romantic adventures, but there is life beyond the bottle and some people can get dates without brain fog. I agree, kids in Bismarck are always complaining because there is nothing to do, and this is the perfect answer! But in the past when things like this are offered kids don't go. Maybe it's too tame for some because there is no alcohol involved. Maybe those who go get made fun of by those walking the shadier side of an evening. I think it's great, and I think the kids have the major role here in promoting this and getting it off the ground. Kids will listen to other kids. Maybe as it grows it could offer darts, or sponsor a sporting-type event (bowling team, softball team), and things like that. If he can get 18 yr olds now and they stay involved beyond the age of 21, this could be a young adult event that 18 year olds would find very attractive. Then those who don't go would be the outcasts, not the other way around. Come on, kids, step up and make this YOUR place.
  4. Florence
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    Florence - November 10, 2010 6:20 pm
    Good job - glad to see a place like this for the kids to keep out of trouble.

    Boss - you are so funny. What an imbecile.
  5. zach8
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    zach8 - November 10, 2010 10:51 am
    the boss, you are sleaze in my book, i'll bet we'll see you down the road as a sex offender, one of many in ND, people like you give ND a bad name, you pervert!!
  6. sremmis
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    sremmis - November 09, 2010 7:41 am
    Busweisser, helping Boss get dates since 1955.

    nannapaddie said: "sounds like you got the wrong idea here Boss...I'm sure your the GUY at a club that all the ladies flock around...huh? who says alcohol has anything to do with romance? get a life..."

  7. nannapaddie
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    nannapaddie - November 08, 2010 9:32 pm
    The Boss said: "Most people go to clubs/bars to bring someone back to their home, apartment, trailer park, hotel room or maybe just the back seat of their car. Without alcohol, I think it would be difficult to get into the mood for "romance." "

    sounds like you got the wrong idea here Boss...I'm sure your the GUY at a club that all the ladies flock around...huh? who says alcohol has anything to do with romance? get a life...
  8. itellya
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    itellya - November 08, 2010 7:15 pm
    I think this is a great idea for the younger kids who cannot go to the bars to have fun. Make the place look more fun is my only suggestion...Not school looking or childish.. have fun in there. Get some games for the ppl that want to go hang out in there and not dance...
  9. The Boss
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    The Boss - November 08, 2010 5:29 pm
  10. ranchnd
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    ranchnd - November 08, 2010 4:45 pm
    My child who attends college in Bismarck frequents this club. As a non-partyer, my kids' options are limited and this has been perfect for hanging out with friends and having a good time.
    Appreciative Parent
  11. Fyrfly58554
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    Fyrfly58554 - November 08, 2010 2:57 pm
    Ivan, I wish you the best. There are too many ways that young adults can get into trouble and you have given them an outlet that will hopefully replace the desire to "invent" things to do while they are waiting to become legally able to drink. Kudos to you!
  12. Fyrfly58554
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    Fyrfly58554 - November 08, 2010 2:39 pm
    Peter1 - Are you speaking from experience or opinion? It would seem that you are one who cannot think of something to do without adding alchol...
  13. The Boss
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    The Boss - November 08, 2010 1:04 pm
    Most people go to clubs/bars to bring someone back to their home, apartment, trailer park, hotel room or maybe just the back seat of their car. Without alcohol, I think it would be difficult to get into the mood for "romance."
  14. justamom
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    justamom - November 08, 2010 11:13 am
    I really hope this can provide a safe place for the group you are looking at. One can have fun and not be in an altered state of mind to do so. The loud music is a plus, the space is accessable and hopefully will have the support of the community. The cage thing could be dangerous for the wanna be hunks. Sleaze? Careful what you ask for.
    I'd like to throw out a name..Young Adults Dance Atmosphere
    (YADA might catch on--it worked for Seinfield.
  15. Peter1
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    Peter1 - November 08, 2010 10:21 am
    Good crowd!!!
  16. Jaycee
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    Jaycee - November 08, 2010 6:47 am
    Good Luck, hope it works for you! Our kids needs something to do other than drink. I applaud your efforts.
  17. The Boss
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    The Boss - November 08, 2010 12:56 am
    To make it look more like a club - get rid of the white ceiling - paint it black, add some stripper poles for the people to dance with, if they don't have a dance partner. Go with the look like Tryst, LAX, Pure, or 54! Hire bare chested male dancers to dance in cages above the dance floor. Remember, it's a 18+ club - no kids - so DON'T BE AFRAID TO SLEAZE IT UP A BIT!! If it comes arcoss as a "Teen Center" if will not be a success. Best wishes and good luck to you!
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