For three years, the building at 2727 Crossview that once housed Birraporetti's stood vacant. These days, former patrons of that Italian eatery would never recognize the place. For starters, there's a vast bar and cocktail area, lavish balcony and dining room, hand-gilded gold columns, an oval hardwood dance floor and impressive art-deco statuary. Drastically remodeled, the structure is now home to Sempers restaurant and discotheque, the high-end brainchild of local entrepreneur Oussama Bachachi. In operation since mid-February, the eatery/nightclub celebrated its grand opening April 17.

Obviously, Sam (as he's called by friends) and designer Issac Preminger (who also did Q Cafe and Spy) spared no expense to make Sempers a luxurious joint, from its spare, pricey menu (for closet boozers, the appetizer list includes a lobster artichoke martini in vermouth sauce) to its borderline garish splashes of sophistication.

"We have a beautiful patio with oversized furniture," says Sam. "We call it the Alice in Wonderland [look]."

A weekly live music lineup includes your standard oldies/Top 40 cover fare on Wednesdays; it's delivered with a classy, cruise-ship bent by the Red Hot and Cool Band. And on Thursdays, there's jazz with Pat Hunt and Friends.

But there's definitely more to Sempers than the music. "We have marble bars," Sam brags. "The place is very different; there are no corners in it. It is a piece of art."

In other words, plan on spending your paycheck. (


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