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CLUBS in and around Orange County | WANNA DANCE?

Room to Move

Abraxas hopes to pack 'em in with musical variety and roomy floor.

April 09, 1998|ZAN DUBIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

FULLERTON — Ouch! It was past 11:30, a Saturday night, and still the only choreography at Abraxas involved helium-filled balloons bobbing above the empty dance floor.

My bud suggested the weather had kept people away on this, the club's gran apertura, or grand opening. It had rained earlier, but perhaps it was a lack of publicity. Fliers were scarce.

At any rate, the dozen couples who had shown finally sprang up when, by 11:45, deejay Orlando V. dispensed with house and rock en espanol in favor of music to salsa, cumbia and merengue to. Judging by these dancers' enthusiasm, maybe it's just a matter of time and word-of-mouth to get this place going.

There are plenty of reasons to check it out. The weekly promotion, which caters to a Spanish-speaking crowd, holds court in the Red Velvet Chinese restaurant (formerly the Imperial Court), where crystal light fixtures sparkle in the dimly lit, velvet-boothed interior. The dance floor's a respectable size, and Orlando V.'s bag of discs includes Euro, disco and hit remixes en espanol, as well as house (bilingual).

Club operator Vicki Nguyen, new to the danceteria biz, has also converted a smaller room for dancing. Deejay Cheech spins tunes a la KROQ.

Management says the Red Velvet serves dinner Thursday through Sunday until 9:30 p.m., although the kitchen responds to orders after that on Saturdays.

If a Latin taste better suits, the super Ginga Brazil is nearby at 821 N. Euclid St., Anaheim. Besides all the churrasco (meaty Brazilian barbecue) you can eat for cheap, Brazilian bands or soloists play every Friday and Saturday, and there's room for a few couples to dance. Recently Brazilian waiters showed off some killer samba hip rolls before closing shop.

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EMPIRE-BUILDING: Gunning to give clubbers "a lot of things I haven't seen in Orange County night life," O.C.'s ubiquitous deejay Beej will spin the new Empire into orbit April 16 at the Galaxy Concert Theatre (3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana).

The new promotion will be heavy on "visuals and performance," in line with his predilection for theatrical, New York-style revelry, said Beej, who dreamed up the idea with John Huntington of the Galaxy's Club Rubber.

A Chinese dragon theme is planned for next week's debut. "And 'empire' is such a broad word that we can use it for a bunch of different motifs, like the Roman empire, the Egyptian empire. We'll be incorporating those themes on a monthly basis."

Music will be a mix of disco, house and techno. Deejay Aude, who works the L.A. underground, will help out, and live bands, beginning next week with Hed(pe) (punk/rock/rap), will perform weekly.

Chains, whips and leather will not be required.

"There's no dress code," Beej said. "We're not going off the Rubber premise whatsoever. This is more an appealing-to-the masses-type scenario."

Doors will open at 9 p.m. and close at 2 a.m. 21-and-older. Cover is $5 before 10:30 p.m., then $10. (714) 263-4695.

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HOP OVER: North County Lindy hoppers have a new venue in El Pollo Inka, a restaurant where swing bands play every Friday from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. The floor's small, but Dan Barrett and the Ed Slauson Trio have been attracting an all-ages crowd. The Peruvian chicken is terrific, and there's no cover. El Pollo Inka, 400 S. Euclid St., Anaheim. (714) 772-2263.

BE THERE

Abraxas, at the Red Velvet restaurant, 904 W. Orangethorpe Ave., Fullerton. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday. Cover: $12; $10 with flier. (714) 245-6683.

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