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For a Good Time, Arrive Early

Nightspot's party ambience, celebrity drop-ins make it the place to be on Thursdays.

November 23, 2000|HEIDI SIEGMUND CUDA | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Six weeks ago, Shane Powers, Josh Richman and Travis Andres dubbed their new clubland venture For a Good Time Call . . . and the phone's been ringing off the hook ever since.

The trio, three of the scene's top players, christened new turf with a star-studded guest list and now the Firm on Wilshire Boulevard is the place to be on a Thursday night if you're a supermodel, jock or rap star. Or, if you just dig supermodels, jocks and rap stars. Or, if you're looking for some new digits--preferably those of a supermodel, jock or rap star.

You have to love Hollywood. A recent visit to For a Good Time Call . . .--a smart name coined by the well-coiffed Powers--yielded a bowlful of eye candy exclusive to Los Angeles. The stars, Vince Vaughn, Hugh Hefner, Tom Morello, hang with starlets too numerous to mention. Close your eyes and visualize: They come in packs, wafting in on clouds of sultry smoke and glitter.

Richman, whose short list of clubs includes Camaro and Grand Ville, found at the Firm a 200-capacity nightclub with a comfortable layout that includes a dance floor and restaurant. The space isn't particularly interesting to look at and not much was shaking on Thursdays. So the promoters took over, with Andres' involvement being the new hook. The Viper Room doorman is known all over town but has never promoted his own spot. Voila, now he's the velvet-rope arbiter at his own party.

And what a party it is. A good doorman succeeds because he knows how to mix and match. For a Good Time Call . . . is among the clubs reviving the once dormant art of throwing a good party. The diverse crowd took advantage of the space's cozy couches and small dance floor. Smokers hang out on the patio, a patch of sidewalk out front defined by a border of wooden chairs. There's something duck-duck-goose about the setup--a cool concept, when you might be goosed by Mark McGrath or Chazz Palminteri, Too Short or model James King.

Richman's been lucky on Thursdays in the past. His 7969 promotion Grand Ville owned that night in the '90s. And, he's well-trained in clubland combat. Going back to the old school, he and his partners used street-smart promoting tactics. They bought 2,000 phony Nokia cellular phones with the club's info line printed on them. Then they passed them around to all the cute girls on the scene.

Of course, once you get the girls, the deal is sealed.

Because the restaurant (appetizers are served until 1 a.m.) is designed like a pocket disco, the party is intimate and it's easy to relax. Deejay Scott Oster makes it even easier. The veteran Hollywood deejay has the uncanny ability to play James Brown, David Bowie, Nelly and AC/DC all up on top of each other but sewn together so smoothly. His skills cast an infectious spell, making people just a wee bit nicer than normal.

As Richman notes, "Anyone can pass around a plate of shrimp. We throw parties."

Spoken like a true player.

* For a Good Time Call . . . Thursdays at the Firm, 6311 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, (323) 650-5903 or (323) 655-4444. Call for guest list info; early arrival recommended. 21 and older. Cover varies.

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