In the years since the American Airlines Center went up near the outskirts of Downtown Dallas, Victory Park has blossomed into a Times Square-esque destination to live, dine, party, shop, etcetera. Central to the plaza’s hip vibe is Chicago-based N9NE Group (that’s a modish version of the word/number us regular people spell, nine). N9NE runs a slew of lavish spots at the Palms in Las Vegas. In Dallas, specifically Victory, the conglomerate owns the (so-swank-it’s-really-only-cool-to-tourists-now) Ghost Bar inside the W Hotel, the famed N9NE Steakhouse, and Nove Italiano (where Tony Romo is rumored to have proposed to Jessica Simpson last Valentine’s day). All in all, seems like the company’s ventures in Big D have been well received.

But things might not be as sparkly as they appear for these guys.

Does anyone remember that N9NE group was supposed to open a second nightclub above the Steakhouse called Liquid Sky in May 2008? Apparently, that isn’t going to happen. An insider told me they are selling off hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment meant for Liquid Sky, and plans to open anything N9ne related in the space have been canned. Instead, offices will probably go in. In addition, the Group’s ridiculously pricey Stuff retail store quietly closed down at the end of 2007. Could some of the early speculation — that the Group’s high prices, fancily spelled names, and snobbish attitudes would wear thin in our city —be coming to fruition?

About a year ago one of the N9NE Group partners, Scott DeGraff told a reporter that N9NE’s "goal is never to go into a city and do one venue at a time. It’s not what it’s supposed to be. It’s supposed to be about the synergy between the venues. We’re big on synergy."

DeGraff had it all figured out with Liquid Sky set to complete the synergetic occupation of Victory Park. So will the other brands continue to flourish (if they are in fact flourishing at all) despite the quashing of Sky? Personally, I think anyone who uses the word "synergy" twice in two consecutive sentences is asking for trouble.

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