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Open Mind Is Best Accessory at Bordello

April 29, 1993|ROSE APODACA | Rose Apodaca is a free-lance writer who contributes regularly to The Times Orange County Edition.

Having operated his hot Bordello club in Hollywood every Thursday for the past five years, Riki Rachtman decided to grace those of us living southward with an Orange County version every Tuesday night at Club 5902 in Huntington Beach.

Rachtman, a longtime host of MTV's Headbanger Ball show and founder of the legendary Cathouse Club in Hollywood, says he opened the second Bordello because he "felt O.C. needed something."

Such a tired statement, Riki! With all the scenes brewing here? Oh, well, the more hangs, the merrier, and locals--as well as immigrants from La-La Land and beyond--seem to be embracing the month-old club.

Word is that the illustrious semi-celeb checked out about 10 spaces in Orange County and along the L.A. County border before agreeing to 5902, which he sees as more underground than other establishments hereabouts.

So what does Bordello offer Orangenoesqthat other places don't?

For one thing, there's Rachtman himself, who says he will frequent the H.B. spot whenever he isn't in New York or on the road with his new band, Battery. As host, he greets patrons at the door, where some find his attitude holier-than-thou. Others say he's a charmer with a mischievously boyish grin. Either way, he'll take your five bucks and may hand you a discount pass good for an upcoming evening.

Inside, depending on the week, you may find live entertainment ranging from comedians to such up-and-coming bands as Green Jelly (formerly Green Jello, which opened the club in late March to a sold-out house) not to mention singing drag queens and tattoo artists. Posters and flyers ask you to "arrive open-minded."

The deejays spin just about everything alternative or hard core, a wide selection ranging from Alice in Chains to AC/DC to ABBA. Funk and '70s disco, with their danceability and nostalgia factors, apparently appeal to most; the speed rock draws out the air guitarists and psycho dancers. Earplugs are strongly suggested.

There's certainly a rockerish quality about Bordello with its dagger-through-the-heart logo, long hair on just about everyone, the heavy metal hardware and garters worn by several female patrons, the KNAC-FM 105.5 posters and Tees and the Van Damme flicks on the dozen TVs.

Completing this rock 'n' roll fantasy: The female-to-male ratio is 3-to-1. The video vixens sport long tendrils, cleavage-exposing bustiers and platforms or thigh-high boots. The dudes, meanwhile, are very much Dudes: They hail from the shores, the gyms and the guitar stores. Plenty of rocker types with big hair and tiny tushes. The crowd, like the music, is friendly.

Bordello is not for those who like to get to sleep after "Roseanne." This place runs on Hollywood time; these people don't even begin getting ready to go out until 10 p.m. At 9:30, there'll be fewer than two-dozen folks hanging out at the bar or the pool tables; by 11, a crowd of 250 has taken over the dance floor, the stage and every other spot in sight. Actually, they don't fill the place, but the crowd is energetic enough to sustain a party feel. When summer gets here, Bordello could be a rager.


Every Tuesday at Club 5902, 5902 Warner Ave., Huntington Beach.

8:30 p.m. till 2 a.m. 21 and over.

Cover: $5.

(714) 840-6118.

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