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UP ALL NIGHT / SOCIAL CLIMES

Hip-Deep in Beverly Hills

November 12, 1995|LAURA A. GALLOWAY | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

If you've ever been curious about who purchases--and wears--items like ultra-platform shoes, Day-Glo lipstick and the seductively short minis seen in stores these days, just take a peak inside the trendy Beverly Hills club known as the Milk Bar.

Here, Klute haircuts, bell-bottoms and boxy Hugo Boss suits reign supreme, along with the requisite well-toned bodies and an occasional cellular phone.

"I'm very into the plexi thing," says co-owner Scott Taylor of the club's design, which features two spacious rooms of walls backlighted with ultraviolet, stark white furniture and globe lighting that evoke images of being inside a giant tanning bed--or, more agreeably, a mod-inspired dream.

"It's like drinking in a box of candy," says a lanky model named Carol, stretching out on a white leather couch with her martini.

The Milk Bar is the left-coast brainchild of Taylor, a former Studio 54 bartender in New York City, and his financial partner Dorset Penick. The establishment is named after the now-defunct Milk Bar in New York.

In Beverly Hills, the full service bar is stand-up only. "I don't have bar stools. We annoy a lot of people because of that, but I come from more of the club mentality than the bar mentality," says Taylor, as acid jazz pounds through the club.

The kitchen offers a full menu of old Italian standbys, from focaccia and calzone to salads and pastas until 11 p.m., but one would be hard-pressed to find a plate of food on any of the club's white plexiglass tables--as polished-looking as many of the patrons. After all, it isn't cool to be seen in stark fluorescent silhouette with pizza sauce dribbling down one's chin.

In keeping with Taylor's "no ropes, no cover charge" policy, the club attracts a variety of patrons: highly glossed glamour girls, a peppering of businessmen and members of the Beverly Hills, 90210 set. Some who come to Milk Bar are on the make, others come to make out; since its opening in April, the establishment has become a "must-do" for members of the compulsively hip.

"It's different," says a silken headed actress at the bar. "In this town, that's all that counts."

What: The Milk Bar, 453 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills; (310) 276-6455.

When: 9 p.m.-2 a.m., Monday through Saturday.

Cost: Drinks, $4-$8; $10 minimum food order per person at table.

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