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The End of the Rope

April 26, 1998|Joe Sehee

For years, Hollywood nightclubs embraced an aestheticism of exclusivity, believing their patrons, like Groucho Marx, didn't really want to join a club that would want them as members. The Opium Den, Viper Room and Sky Bar, despite ample room inside, regularly resort to forcing people to wait outside to provide the appearance of not letting just anyone in. At least not right away. But at a growing number of hipster haunts, the infamous red velvet rope has become as outmoded as an acid-washed headband. Next month, Marc Smith, co-owner of

the perennially groovy (and ropeless) Three Clubs lounge on Vine Street, is launching Mackinac, a most anti-bouncer-in-a-headset club on the Sunset Strip. Says Smith: "There are always going to be people who need to feel bad to feel good, but that idea just doesn't sit well with a lot of people today."

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