We started at the Stage Door, an ironworkers union bar, where the marquee outside proclaims, “We Have 19 Years Left On Our Lease.” It’s not a threat, it’s a promise.
My fake date — a date without benefits — and I ordered two cocktails and a hot dog. Eight bucks.
Then we set upon our hooves to walk a city block to the Chateau nightclub patio for a very important person’s birthday party in a swanky booth.
There, I ordered water, because this is the desert, and the Elfman Drinking Rotation goes, “hydrate, dehydrate, hydrate, dehydrate.”
“It’s $8,” the pretty cocktail server quoted the cost of one water, the same price as two alcohols and a hot dog at “19 Years Left On Our Lease.”
But Chateau isn’t an ironworkers hang. Patio prices bring the privilege of rubbing hips with club sexies. Not that ironworkers don’t have it going on. But ironworkers generally do not wear little skirts made of gossamer angel wings.
Chateau’s balcony is where Barry Manilow, after performing regularly in the Paris hotel, goes to sweetly spend $1,000. He had been here this very Saturday.
Manilow, nearly 70, isn’t in the age demographic of the club, although some of his face looks like it is.
Suddenly, it began to rain — really rain, with lightning and ominous clouds from a “Harry Potter” movie trailer.
Everyone on the patio scampered toward the doors leading inside Chateau’s indoor bar.
Women in full dresses held onto their once decorous hair, soaked to the scalp.
When it stopped pouring, they all trotted back onto the patio to resume the ritual de lo habitual.
After 1 a.m., Chateau servers carried a birthday cake to our VIP. Waitresses surrounded the booth, waving giant burlesque feathers over their heads, as cheerleaders would at a University of Vodka.
There was news afoot. It could be seen that Chateau, after fits and starts, was building a second, larger patio atop the Paris roof — right under the beams of the Eiffel Tower — and it was expected to open in the middle of cooler October. There will be heat lamps.
This development stirred us, club observers, to calculate all the twisty math at Strip clubs of late:
A) Bellagio is turning the Fontana Lounge into a younger lounge-club. B) Jet at The Mirage just closed and will reopen by New Year’s Eve as 1Oak (pronounced “one oak” despite looking like “10 Alaska”). C) Studio 54 is about to go through some sort of new undertaking. And D) Blush at Wynn would be closing forever in a few hours on this very night of rain.
So at 3 a.m., Fake Date and I bid farewell to the birthday party to go see Blush’s last stand, which had all the markings of The End.
Just next to Blush, at the restroom entrance, party girls laid spent on the ground, giddily asking Fake Date to snap a photo of them, for the sake of fond remembrances, certainly.
Inside Blush, confetti had been shot into the air earlier. Now it littered the half-empty floor.
The aura at Blush was happy goodbyes, lubricated with gin and new acquaintances.
A young reveler in a suit looked more dapper in the middle of the night than most casino execs do during the day. He placed his hand on the knee of a beautiful tourist, who rubbed the back of his neck.
He told a friend he was working on his “close,” as in “closing the deal,” as in “Glengarry Glen Ross’ ” motto of “ABC” — “always be closing.”
His older friend told him to close with his new lady friend by uttering one sentence: “Let’s get out of here.”
The younger closer said if he were to use that line and it worked, he would scream out his friend’s name later during his own personal confetti celebration.
Fake Date and I didn’t want to be there for Blush’s final moments, an hour away. Too sad. All those cocktailers, bartenders and others would be losing their workstations … to do what next?
A worker said the Wynn was turning Blush’s rectangular bar into a high-limit slots area.
Fake Date and I bent for the exit. The DJ’s songs transitioned from Martin Solveig’s “Hello” to Calvin Harris’ “Bounce.” We bounced.
Doug Elfman’s column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Contact him at email@example.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.