|Written by AnDroid|
|Thursday, 06 August 2009 16:20|
Last night DBarr102 and I shut down the Rose City Strip, which is the new and much improved club that now occupies the space where Cocktails and Dreams used to fester. The beauty of living so close to it was that we didn't leave the house until 1:30am and still had time to look around the place, pound a couple drinks, and throw down some bills. As the DJ pointed out, they put a lot of money into remodeling this club, and it shows.The DV8 crew took over the space a couple months ago and completely remodeled it, and these folks really like to drive home the point that you're in a strip club: Black lights, red chandeliers, lasers everywhere, no less than four disco balls, fake flames, paintings of Elvira and Gene Simmons for some reason, and an MC yelling at you to clap for the dancers. Two of the three stages are currently open (part of the club is still under construction), plus there's a VIP room and a large private dance area that's walled off and can be seen only through the beaded curtain at the entrance. They've carried over DV8's fantastic drink prices and have a full food menu.
This is easily the largest club on the Powell Blvd. strip. It's closer to downtown than Devils Point and close enough to other clubs to be part of a night of club-hopping. If you're going to partake in such a hop, I suggest the following line-up, starting at the base of the Ross Island bridge and heading east: Lucky Devil, Safari, Rose City Strip (stop in at Tommy's next door for a round if you're looking for something a little grittier), DV8, and end with Devils Point. Goddamn it I fucking love Southeast Portland.
But Rose City Strip is big enough, nice enough, cheap enough, and fun enough to go out of your way to get to it and spend your whole evening there. That's what they're hoping for. The question is, what made Cocktails and Dreams so shitty? Was it the management or the location? Personally, I think the location is awesome, but my opinion on this issue might be a little slanted. It's smack dab in the middle of the Powell run and connected to a weird little strip mall that includes The Original Taco House. Behind the building is a handy-dandy US Bank drive-up ATM sitting awkwardly in the middle of the large parking lot. You can basically deposit your unemployment check directly into the panties of your favorite stripper.
The main problem with Cocktails and Dreams was, in my opinion, the drink prices. The club was far from stellar, and they seemed to take any dancer who was willing to get the job done, but they charged four to five bucks a drink. It's the same issue with Tommy's, and we all know damn well that there are clubs like Safari, DV8, and Devils Point just up the street in either direction that are not only less sketchy but also cheaper and with more outstanding dancers. Now that Rose City Strip has opened with DV8's drink prices and gorgeous ladies, that is no longer an issue.
I was passed out on the couch in my clothes this morning when Kimbot woke me up while she was getting ready for work. I stumbled into the bedroom to sleep for a few more hours before heading downtown, hungover and nauseous, to Club Rouge, which just opened last Thursday.
Club Rouge is located on the corner of SW 4th and Stark, adjacent to the food carts on 5th that attract bustling crowds during lunch hours. The new club offers a diverse menu with $6 lunch specials that easily compete in price and quality with the food carts next door. Crystal, one of the friendly bartenders, gave me a quick tour of the place when I walked in, and I have to say this is hands down the nicest strip club I've ever been to. It's a very large space and intelligently planned out. The VIP room upstairs has plush leather chairs and couches and even its own bathroom. A portal looks down on the stages in the main area below.
I ordered a surprisingly good Bloody Mary and chatted with Shawn, Tim, and Tim, three of the men responsible for the club. They were all very smart and friendly and eager to talk about the details of the club with me. Tim explained the thought process behind the layout, which is extremely functional in its multiplicity. The bar is in the middle, dividing the huge space into two sections. When you first walk in there are tables and the stairs to the VIP room and the bar. This area is where you can sit with coworkers or your girlfriend and eat and hang out without really feeling like you're in a strip club. The stages are located on the other side of the bar. There are two large circular stages, each with their own poles, connected in the middle by a short catwalk, and a third small triangular stage in the corner where 18- to 20-year-old dancers can legally perform (a detail I was personally impressed with).
In stark contrast to Rose City Strip, the lighting here is pleasantly understated. Red lamps glow against red walls. There are multicolored lights above the stages, but no lasers and the music isn't too loud. And, of course, there are beautiful women everywhere. Because the space is so nice (and Tim bought me another round) I decided to stay and write this blog on location.
So here it is, live from the spectacular Club Rouge downtown: Portland has two new kick-ass clubs, and I highly recommend checking both of them out yourself. You won't be disappointed. Now it's happy hour here - $1 off beer and booze - so I think I'll stick around for a little while before grabbing a late breakfast somewhere. Thanks to all of the staff at Club Rouge for being so nice! You rock!