Bars come and go in Lagos. Best can change to worst and back again between happy hours. A bad place can have a good night, and a good place can have a bad night, and most will have both over the course of a weekend. The qualities that make a place a can’t-miss for you might add up to a can’t-stand for your doppelgänger. And once you’ve been here long enough, your hard-won favorite will close or simply change, and you’ll need to find a new personal best. Regardless of this, there’s one new comer who has shown the ability to stand the test of time – Circa Non Pareil! Still in its infancy, the out-of-this-world yet minimalist ambiance makes you always want to go back for another experience. In this interview with Konye Chelsea Nwabogor, DZIFA GRAY tells us why Circa Non Pareil is the number one rave of the moment.
HOW DID YOU END UP IN YOUR CURRENT ROLE AS QUALITY ASSURANCE EXECUTIVE OF CIRCA NON PAREIL?
I’ve been in the media and the service industry for over a decade. I’ve earned my stripes as a manager, a brand rep, which is how my current boss found me. And I know it’s my past and present work that has earned me my position at circa.
WHAT DOES THIS ROLE INVOLVE EXACTLY?
Well as an executive brand for the upper class, circa Non Pareil has the burden of maintaining a certain fine standard of service for our clients. As a quality assurance executive, it is my job to ensure that all things to do with the brand and the services we provide meet our high standards in order to please our esteemed clients. I’m tasked with ascertaining the current standard and constantly raising it so we remain one step ahead of our competitors.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT CIRCA NON PAREIL
Circa Non Pareil is a combination of luxury, modern and minimalist ambience coupled with fine dining, lounge and bar services that gives our clients a relaxed, executive experience. We are bent on providing a luxury experience to all who come through our gates.
WHEN IT COMES TO HOSPITALITY AND LIFESTYLE, THE LEKKI ENVIRONS IS A BIT SATURATED, WHAT MAKES CIRCA NON PAREIL STAND OUT?
Our style of service is what makes us unique. We offer the perfect blend of elite dining and a modern relaxation environment located by the ocean where our customers can take in the view from the multi-level space.
THE RESTAURANT: Set on the ground floor, Circa Prive is a contemporary restaurant that specializes in fusion cuisine. The modern setting of the restaurant, offers our guests a high end dining experience with a tranquil demure. Carefully curated ingredients have been combined to create the one-of-a-kind meals found on our menu.
THE TERRACE: Once our guests step into Circa, the terrace is accessible through the walkway lined by the water fountain. The terrace is right by the ocean and guests get to experience outdoor dining. It is intended to be a relaxing space with views of the serene ocean.
THE LOUNGE: Tucked on the middle floor of the multi-level building, the lounge provides a nearly complete view of its surroundings. Guests can take in the view and enjoy the cozy atmosphere, while sipping on Circa’s signature cocktails prepared by our mixologist.
THE ROOFTOP: With the view of Admiralty way, the Lekki – Ikoyi link bridge and the Atlantic ocean, the rooftop is the most popular spot at Circa. It offers a grill and bar with Circa’s signature cocktails and top shelf liquors. Depending on the night, guests enjoy different genres of music from a DJ or live band.
WHAT STRATEGIES HAVE YOU EMPLOYED IN ATTRACTING THE SORT OF CLIENTELE YOU WANT?
That’s a trade secret, but among other things, the menu will be inspired from different countries’ specialties and appeal to a diverse clientele. Our service and ambience has so far spoken volumes on our behalf. We have hired the best people available, training, and motivating and encourage them, and thereby retaining the friendliest most efficient staff possible. Our management team is comprised of individuals whose backgrounds confirm our customers will surely have the best Circa Experiences at all times.
YOU RECENTLY LAUNCHED THE CIRCA PRIVE, HOW’S THAT GOING?
Circa Prive was a big project for us, and we are excited to see that peoples are enjoying their experiences here. The positive feedback has been overwhelming and we are working towards maintaining that standard and improving on it. It has been an amazing journey so far. And it only promises to get better; this is what our projections are telling us.
THE UBER MINIMALIST AMBIENCE OF CIRCA PRIVE GIVES A SOMEWHAT EXCLUSIVE VIBE. WAS THIS A CONSCIOUS DECISION AND WHY?
In today’s world minimalism is the new luxury. Less is more. And that’s what we were going for with our decor. My personality is very sophisticated and absolutely connects with the encampment. Every successful business must adapt to and improve its environment, this is what makes circa dynamic, and game changing.
IN A WORLD WHERE LIFESTYLE BRANDS ARE RAPIDLY MOVING TOWARDS PLEASING THE CONSUMER, HAS CIRCA NON PAREIL BEING ABLE TO STICK TO ITS OWN RULES. HOW?
My 10 year old son fascinates me with his great interest in technology. It’s a digital world, things change quickly and without regard for whether we are ready or not. This goes for customer needs as well. There’s so much exposure and so trends are constantly metamorphosing. It is a constant learning, unlearning, adapting, shifting, and innovating process. This is Circa Non Pareil, we have our rules and we stick by them, but never to the detriment of our clients’ needs.
HOW HAS THE CIRCA NON PAREIL BRAND EMPLOYED THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA WITH THE AIM OF PROMOTING ITS VISIBILITY?
We use social media to show a glimpse of the Circa Non Pareil lifestyle. Just tease people enough to want to come in and experience Circa for themselves. To tell you our exact strategy would be to level the playing field lol. This is business. But social media is integral to our business ecosystem and strategy.
ON A GENERAL NOTE, WHAT ARE YOUR OBSERVATIONS ON THE HOSPITALITY AND LIFESTYLE INDUSTRY IN LAGOS?
There are so many choices, so many places emerging up and joining the old ones. This is good because it makes the industry competitive. And competition can only improve one’s business. One must constantly audit ones services in order to make sure you’re ahead of competitors. So in terms of business wise, it’s booming and this is not only good for business owners but for customers as well. However service does need improvement, satisfying customer service or experience and maintaining the original standard which was introduced to customers from day one that should is a priority and Circa Non Pareil management takes that very seriously. Don’t think it’s just in Lagos to be honest, I’m the sub region, we do have a problem with customer service and employee training, and solving this would greatly improve our standing on a global scale.
WHERE DO YOU SEE THE CIRCA NON PAREIL BRAND IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?
Where we are right now, is just a building block for the future. We will be the best lounge, restaurant, and rooftop bar in Africa for the upper middle class and the 1 percent. As I usually say, the opportunities at Circa are unending and we are on the journey to truly being parallel to none other.
This interview was first published in THIS DAY STYLE MAGAZINE