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WANNA DANCE?

Young Professionals Can FLIRT to the Max--or Just a Little

October 13, 1994|ROSE APODACA JONES | Rose Apodaca Jones is a free-lance writer who contributes regularly to The Times Orange County Edition. and

For many young up-and-comers in the corporate culture, there is nothing better than being able to mix business with pleasure in a club setting.

Can you relate?

If so, FLIRT (Fun Loving Individuals Relating Together) is your ticket on Friday nights at Club Max, in Costa Mesa's Red Lion Hotel.

Here, local suits are wooed after work with happy-hour parties in their honor. Patrons fill out an entry form for the chance to win, among other things, accommodations in a reserved area, special drink prices and a free appetizer for the winner and up to 50 of his or her closest associates and friends.

The emphasis here--not just during happy-hour parties, but all night--is on networking. Flyers make a point of telling you that "Young Professionals meet here," as though it were akin to a Young Republicans meeting.

Ads also emphasize that this club is not pretentious, but there is little need for pretense. FLIRT at Club Max is a nice club with nice people; it's not a source of trendy fashions or trendy music. Deejay Evan Landes simply spins a mighty mix of old school, disco, hip-hop, dance and pop. And within that format, he's much better than those at other "cool" clubs slinging the same hash.

Indeed, between Landes and promoter Patrick Chic's good-looking flyers, Club Max seems to compete with some of the more "in" nightspots. But the patrons here aren't young fad hounds, they're just interested in getting (a little) loose.

There are five pool tables and a blackjack table where players compete for fun, not money.

Club Max amuses fans on other nights with Acid Jazz on Tuesdays--not so much a night to highlight this musical genre as to relate a '90s Bohemia, complete with herbal teas and poetry readings, and Hot Country Night on Wednesdays; deejay Landes returns Thursdays for Danceteria, a night of house, hip-hop and retro; and Saturdays is club Fever with '70s and '80s retro, disco, soul and Top 40.

Happy hour is from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, with $2 drafts, $2.50 daily cocktail specials and $1 appetizers. Regularly, cocktails are $3.50 to $4.25 ($1 more for doubles); a glass of wine runs $4 to $4.75; soda and flavored mineral waters are $1.95; premium bottled beers such as Samuel Adams, Becks, Coors Oktoberfest Beer and Fosters are $3.25, and domestic beers are $3 a bottle, $2.75 for draft.

The kitchen stays open until 11 serving up a list of mostly fried and messy, tasty appetizers such as mozzarella sticks ($3.25), nachos ($4.50) and hot wings ($3.95).

* FLIRT

* At Club Max at the Red Lion Hotel, 3050 Bristol St., Costa Mesa.

* (714) 438-4938.

* Opens 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.

* Cover: Free until 9 p.m., $5 thereafter.

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