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CLUB SCENE : In Cahoots Serves Up Country--'90s Style

November 04, 1994|SYLVIA L. OLIANDE

In Cahoots is a country-Western bar for the '90s. It's filled with suburban cowboys and cowgirls looking for a good time and a fun place to hang out. Wednesdays are $1.25 drink nights, so the midweek is just as crowded and upbeat as any weekend night. That helps when there are still two days left to work before the parties begin.

THE SCENE: The club is 15,000 square feet of country. It's a barn dance for city folk, with two large bars, a huge dance floor, six pool tables and a few dartboard machines. A full menu is offered. It's "not a restaurant, but if you don't mind eating on a bar stool, we're pretty good," said Steve Hurt, general manager. The drinks are served with a smile and pretty quickly in spite of the crowd. Judging from the amount of transplanted Southerners in attendance, the club seems to capture the feel and atmosphere of an authentic Southern watering hole. "It reminds me of Texas," said Tammy Hensarling, 23.

THE MUSIC: DJ Curtis Nelson keeps the huge dance floor filled with line dancers and two-steppers with Top 40 and old-time country and Western artists and an occasional rock or dance classic from acts like AC / DC and KC and the Sunshine Band. "Since Wednesdays are $1.25 drink nights, there is a younger crowd," the Oklahoma native said. "A lot of people who come in for the drinks have never listened to country music, so I try to break up the monotony. I like to get them up and dancing."

THE CROWD: The club is 21 and older only. The crowd is mostly late 20s, an attractive bunch of about 500 people, with the men outnumbering the women slightly. Tight jeans, boots and cowboy hats are favorites among both sexes, but after-work casual is also popular. The people are very low-key and friendly, and most of the men look like they've stepped out of a Marlboro ad in GQ.

THE WEST: A booth set up in the entryway to the club sells belt buckles, jewelry, T-shirts and--of course--Stetsons for $39 to $130. Sylmar resident Jim Davis bought a cowboy hat that a friend picked out for him. Asked how much he was paying for it, he said, "I dunno and I don't care; it's going on a credit card." Told the hat cost $110, the 23-year-old shrugged and put it on, smiling.

THE GOOD: There is a lot to do and plenty of room to do it and the atmosphere is friendly and lively. "I like the place, the energy of it," said Sylmar resident William Lucas, 28. "It's not like other clubs. It's like a home, where you know people, and you come here and dance and have fun."

THE BAD: "I used to be a regular," said La Canada resident Bruce Tiffany, 23, "but it got old real quick. It just got too trendy." Mississippi transplant Hensarling, now a Sherman Oaks resident, said the club doesn't always feel like being down South. "The majority of the guys here are fake, wanna-be cowboys," she said.

THE WORD: "What's your name? Wanna talk to me? Come here," begged a twenty-something cowpoke to a woman moseying by.

In Cahoots, 233 N. Glendale Ave., Glendale. Cover $5 after 8 p.m. Valet parking, $2. Hours: 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily. (818) 500-1669.

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