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Summer Splash | Clubs : Club Buzz

The Heat's Up a Notch

The nightspot landscape will have some new looks in the weeks (and months) to come.

May 20, 1999|HEIDI SIEGMUND CUDA | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Hummmm . . . summertime . . . and the livin' is easy . . . joints are jumpin' . . . and the hotties are fly. . . .

Summer is the season when H-wood clubgoers kick off their heels. But beyond the poolside promotions and dusting off of outdoor patios, there's a whole lotta building going on. This year boasts record changes for clubland, with hurried hammerheads putting the finishing touches on dozens of new nightspots.

Down near the beach, Santa Monica's Sugar just got a little sweeter, when a neighboring sushi spot gave up its lease to Swingers. That's right, kids, Hollywood's swingin' diner is coming to Santa Monica, making it de-lovely for the folks who don't want to drive 20 minutes to be seen on the scene. Soon, they'll be able to loiter at the corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Broadway, where the rock 'n' roll eatery will be located.

Lush, the first Santa Monica venture from that slacker Steve Edelson (just kidding, you know, the guy's already got a half-dozen spots going around town), is up and running already, including its Thursday night promotion, an evening with that fantabulously lowbrow Bootie Quake.

Another hotty-shotty promoter just got into the club biz: Gate / Garden of Eden promoter "D.K." just opened his own space called the Cat Club, next to the Whisky on Sunset. We hear it's a cozy hang, with a pool table and a full bar.

That sexy neo-Factory Cherry celebrated its closing night at the Love Lounge last week and is scheduled to reopen June 11 at the newly revamped (and fortunately renamed) Probe, which is now called the Play Room. Owners of the Hollywood venue are goin' a-courtin' with numerous promoters, and scoring Cherry is a coup for both. Bow Wow Wow may even inaugurate the dance club's opening night after its too-short set at the club's recent anniversary party.

Cherry's Bryan Rabin is looking forward to expanding the club, which will now have another deejay room and VIP area aimed for those who really dress up. Rabin and partner Mike Messex, along with deejay Victor Rodriguez, also are taking over Los Feliz's popular Vida on Thursday nights this summer for Booze, a cocktail confection straight out of "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Last week's opening, for instance, was a fashion model cattle call. Lastly, Rabin and Messex will begin throwing monthly summer rock balls in June at the Roxy, paying homage to the late, great '80s and taking advantage of the fact that On the Rox, the Roxy's upstairs club, is undergoing a face lift.

Look for a massive Memorial Weekend party at the Variety Arts Center on May 30, when Make-Up, Cafe Bleu, Shout!, Sin-A-Matic and Beat It team up for a slammin' good time. In June, the same promoters are putting together a Headbanger's Ball, complete with an air-guitar contest (look for date and location info in a later Buzz).

The Las Palmas Theatre is now Plush, the new name for the old venue. It's scheduled to open in early June, with nightly dancing and dining. First-time owners Bruce Perdew and brothers Rod and Michael Stewart promoted several Goth-industrial clubs around town, so look for them to start reeling them into Plush.

And they said it couldn't be done: After much ballyhooing, Brent Bolthouse got Coffeehouse, his 24-hour java joint and newsstand, up and running on the Sunset Strip (across from the lovely Chateau Marmont). Look for some late-night deejay action to commence shortly, with Bolthouse also brewing up a possible Thursday night summer shindig at the Play Room.

Speaking of late-night deejays, Atmosphere, the Viper Room's Tuesday night electronica club, has invited Afrika Bambaata to rock on the house on June 8. Shhhh!, the Viper's Wednesday dance club is shaping up to be summertime's hot hump-day spot for young Hollywood.

Crazy Rick Calamaro, one of the scene's longtime party boys and the co-promoter of Grand Ville, has teamed up with Hartwell, the promoter who struck gold Thursdays at Hollywood's 360 Restaurant, and the pair are throwing a big reopening party at the fenix in the Argyle hotel on Friday night. They've managed to double the capacity by taking over a second terrace and lounge, moving in loads of new ottomans and cushy sofas and inviting DJ David Orlando to spin some rex for effex. The uber-popular Friday night spot now has two entrances, one for the dinner-cocktail set and one for the dancing and romancing set. In about five weeks, when summer really heats up, they'll be expanding to Saturdays.

Still in the works for late summer-fall openings in Hollywood are the new Moguls (on Schrader Avenue), the Sunset Room (on Cahuenga Boulevard at Sunset Boulevard), the King King Club (on La Brea Avenue) and the new La Masia (on Santa Monica Boulevard). And, rumor has it, the far from glamorous Boardner's (on Cherokee Avenue) may be close to selling. We would love to see something fab-o happen there. And, speaking of such bars, Bob's Frolic 2 on Vine Street may reopen as Beauty Bar under new owners as early as June.

And for the grand finale of this sizzling buzz-o-rama, we've saved the tackiest and wackiest for lastiest--the O.G. bad wig-wearing disco pimps, the Boogie Knights, will be performing every Friday in June, and probably on into July, at Merv Griffin's Coconut Club.

We promised you the Coconut Club, which is at the Beverly Hilton, was as close as you could get to Vegas without actually driving there--and now it's indisputable.

Stay tuned during the coming weeks, when all the promoters who didn't call me by deadline, (a) kvetch or (b) fill me in on some more summer shenanigans. Till then, we'll see you in the tanning booths. Not.

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