Formed in 2007 by Dilbert Dilweg and Charity Colville, Sweethearts Jazz was one of the most popular romance venues, reaching the #1 search spot. I had the pleasure of working with Dilbert as a host back in 2011. At the time Blake Hambleton (current owner of Sweethearts Jazz) was a manager at the time. Over the years Sweethearts has taken on many changes, and the story behind the fallout and selling of Sweethearts is as follows:
According to Wikia:
In 2012 Charity Tricked Dilbert and lied to him and talked him in to selling sweethearts Jazz club and promised Dilbert they would start a new one. Dilbert was very attached to Sweethearts and was unwilling to part with it. He had told Charity, that if she wanted out, then get out and he will run it his self. In a recent interview. Dilbert stated that she wanted money even if she never payed a dime to start it. Dilbert was the financial and mastermind to both of his clubs. Basically the sale of Sweethearts was brought on by lies and desperation from Charity Colville.
Since the drama unfolded for Dilbert. He has been taking time to learn how to model mesh products and has become quite fluent in his endeavors. The latest rumor in 2013 is that he plans to start yet another powerful community with new ideas and innovative business models for the virtual world. Dilbert has been instrumental in opening the worlds eyes to Jazz in sl and creating one of the fastest growing markets ever. He was the first one to offer a free Formal clothing set for their avatars. A tuxedo for the guys, and an elegant gown for the ladies.. He set the stage for formal and elegance in SL. Many clubs today follow and have enhanced Dilbert’s business model to date.
As there is always two sides to a story, last I’ve read was dated on 2012 on the Dilbert Dilweg official Twitter page that he and Charity have parted ways. One may never know exactly what truly took place, however, the deal was done and Sweethearts Jazz is now owned by two new owners Blake Hambleton and Shannon Hambleton.
I have seen Sweethearts go through many changes, the most notable is the changing of the venue.
With change comes opinion and from what I have found so far, people want Sweethearts Jazz back to it’s original roots.
As posted on Snicker’s Doodles blog post: Snickers Doodles
They ruined Sweethearts Jazz Club
I used to be a big fan of Sweethearts Jazz Club. I’ve met a lot of nice people there (including a BF), the ambiance was more sophisticated than most clubs (but still fun) and the lack of lag was always a plus. So tonight I put on one of my oh-so-cute formals, hopped onto the teleport limo and was like OMG! What have they done to the club? First thing, I walked straight ahead into a waterfall where there used to be stairs, immediately fell off and went underwater with no way of getting back to land.
So I did the original TP and walked in and up the stairs via the new (and cheesy looking) entrance. I was SOOO shocked! What used to be a nice design with bars, lounge chairs, couches, cocktail tables, a piano bar, nice looking dance floor, etc. was nothing more an ugly dance floor with country-style line dance spots plopped into the middle of a shopping mall.
Seriously, all that’s missing from this tacky mess are a line of ZYNGO machines, 10 more “Donate” and “Vote” boxes and a few more sploders. Why wear a formal or cocktail dress here? Just put on your platties, short-shorts and a bebe crop top, Juicy purse and scream “I’m a mall rat and proud of it!” Yes it’s hard to make money in Second Life and I get that things can’t always stay the same. But going tacky commercial and trying to make up for it with hollow greeters begging you to dance is not going to work for this old gal.
And according to slummagazine: slummagazine
And then we have Sweetheart’s. Sweetheart’s was always the West Coast alternative to Frank’s East Coast formality and propriety. You didn’t need a tie at Sweetheart’s, or much of anything else, and the bright So Cal light was part of its funky charm. You could wear your shades to Sweetheart’s and no one would think you were trying too hard to be cool. That big yacht anchored off the dance floor set the tone: laid back, funky, informal, friendly.
The yacht followed Sweetheart’s when the new owners took over, but only for a while. The writing was on the wall, and on those intrusive pillars and new seeping staircases. The goal was clear, to out-Frank Frank at his own game. But with the bad tastes of the nouveau riche, they started fill the place with excessive and unnecessary ornament.: staircases, pillars, balustrades, and an entrance way worthy of a Pharaoh with bad taste. Goodbye California. Hello Hollywood!
The meet-and-mingle area at Sweetheart’s is actually very good, with lots of shadowy nooks and potted plants to soft the interior, but placing it in what’s basically a pit between the overbearing entrance and the elevated greeter station and visually inaccessible dance floor gives you a kind of degraded feeling. You feel like you’ve been consigned to the cheap seats or some orchestra pit in hell, and that you’re not quite good enough for the overly bright dance floor, and not agile enough to ascent the difficult stairs that lead to the exit. You have the feeling that you’re going to have gum wrappers and cigarette butts sticking to your shoes if you move, and the floor looks like they don’t mop it enough.
Putting your greeters above your patrons is always a bad idea because it gives the impression that they’re there to supervise. I cringe whenever they greet me at SH’s because I feel like a prison searchlight is going to pick me out and sirens will start to wail. You get the feeling that someone on the balcony will start tossing coins or maybe even gobbets of flesh to the milling crowd, and that the host and hostess are there to distract you while men with long poles herd you around.
But I like Sweetheart’s for all that. I just wish they’d go back to being an alternative to Frank’s and not a copy.
I have always enjoyed Sweethearts Jazz, and though I’ve had my share of disputes with the current owners in the past, I still come to show support when I can. As many has seen the over all traffic is well below the normal 80,000+ we have seen in the past. The one thing about Sweethearts Jazz even if you are not a fan of the builds and the many changes is very polite staff. Even on a very slow night you can converse with the host working and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere. Sweethearts Jazz may have lost many guests to the many changes, but they still have a welcoming atmosphere.
Changes sometimes can make or break a venue. It is how the owners envision what they want, and sometimes not what is the most pleasing to the guests who have been around since the early days of Sweethearts. Sweethearts Jazz is a icon of Second Life and is still here today. We have seen many clubs come and go over the years, and when a venue strays away from the true atmosphere that many have come to love, sometimes it takes going back to the roots.