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Friday, April 17, 2009

End of the Ultra Lounge Era?

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Pussycat Dolls: typical Whisper Lounge patrons
  • Pussycat Dolls: typical Whisper Lounge patrons

Personally, I've always found the concept of the "Ultra Lounge"--an upscale dance club--more than just a little bit pretentious. Bottle service for exclusive clientele who arrive in limousines? That's not chic, just bougie. And let's face it, dress codes are for douchebags. I'm not saying Tevas and tank tops or Tims and hoodies are always appropriate evening attire, but if I want the fashion police to regulate what I can and can't wear to a club, I'll put in a call to Joan Rivers and the Queer Eye dudes. But the worst thing about ultra lounges--the absolute deal-breaker--is that, to be frank, the music they play is kinda sucky. Isn't it possible to be fly without Top 40 hip-hop and generic house music?

Case in point: the Whisper Lounge. Here's their dress requirements, as posted on their website, which imply a clear double standard for men and women: "Ladies - Keep doing what you've always done. Gentlemen - Button Down Collared Shirt + Form Fitting Pants + Casual Dress Shoes." (Form fitting pants? You've got to be joking.) The rules go on to state, "You'll have to step it up if you wanna step in. Please dress to impress the ladies who are always looking sexy here."

Apparently, all that sexiness just wasn't paying the bills. The venue recently announced its closure after seven years, which suggests that offering $3000 corporate packages and $250 bottle service isn't entirely realistic in this economy. (And, interestingly, the venue's picture gallery  shows plenty of dress-code violations, including dorky-looking dudes in track jackets and --Oh My!--nylon mesh trucker hats.)

For those of you who actually care, two events remain in April: This Saturday's "Magnificent," hosted by Heather Feather ("O.C.'s hottest go-go dancer") and April 25's "Kottontail," a color-coordinated theme party ("ladies in pink, fellas in black"). And on May 2nd, Whisper's final event, the "Last-Blast Reunion & Grand Finale" goes down. It's one more chance to wait in line outside, shivering in little black cocktail dresses, or argue with bouncers that your immaculate limited-edition sneakers cost $150, while "VIPs" are ushered past the velvet ropes.

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Eric Arnold


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