Last Thursday I wrote a blog about what makes a good strip club. I mentioned a lot of my favorite Portland clubs and ended with a list of the five that I think are the most unique. Almost immediately after posting the article, I got a message on Twitter from Emily Gibson, who does The Meat Show podcast, admonishing me for excluding Sassy's. I shamefully admitted to her that I hadn't been there yet, to which she replied, “dude you need to have gone yesterday.”
I mentioned the exchange to my roommate, Devo, and half-jokingly told him he should skip the March Fourth Marching Band anniversary show and go with me to Sassy's. To my surprise, he said, “You know what? That actually sounds good.” So I smoked some pot while he played a few rounds of Mario Kart Wii and then we headed out.
Upon entering Sassy's, I was immediately impressed with the size, layout, and overall look of the place. The dim red lighting and red tile floor give it a classic strip club vibe without being too glitzy or obnoxious. There are three stages inside, but it was still early when we got there, so only one of them was in use, and the dancers were picking their own music. We walked past a drop-dead gorgeous (and very naked) dancer on our way to the bar, where we both ordered beers and paid with cash.
“Would you boys like ones back?” the bartender asked. We both nodded.
“Yeah, you're gonna need those!” A man standing next to us at the bar grinned drunkenly and raised his glass. “To ones!”
“To ones!” we shouted and clinked our glasses together.
There were plenty of places to sit, so we grabbed a table and looked at the menu. Sassy's has great happy hour prices on drinks and appetizers until 7pm, but unfortunately we'd just missed it. Suddenly the Tears for Fears song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” came on, and Devo was like, “Oh man, I gotta go up there for this!”
He went over and sat at the rail, where a beautiful blond woman with glasses was dancing. He complimented her on her choice of music, and they started chatting, since he was the only one at the rail. She introduced herself as Berlin.
While Devo was occupied, I took a moment to look around the club. They have two private dance areas, one of which is located behind a stage and blocked only with a thin sheer curtain. As an exhibitionist, I think that could be interesting. The other is a small booth at the base of some stairs which lead to an upper level that looks down on the entire club. The stairs were blocked by a velvet rope. I learned later that the upper level is used as a VIP area, and the whole thing can be rented out for $150. Seems like an ideal place to have a bachelor party.
I returned to the table, where Devo was sitting with a love-struck grin on his face. A group of cheerful lesbians had taken the table next to ours. A server came over and collected our empty glasses, groaning in pain as she hunched over. She told us she had a broken collar bone, but she nonetheless provided fantastic service while we were there. I never had to sit with an empty glass for long. She even brought me drinks while I was sitting at the rail, which is probably the best service I've ever had.
Devo and the group of lesbians and I all sat at the rail when Berlin took the stage again. She did wild pole tricks while Queen's “I Want to Break Free” played, then The Proclaimers' “I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles).” By the time we were ready to leave the club, Devo told me he was “seriously considering” proposing to her. I wish him the best of luck in that endeavor.
On the surface, Sassy's might seem like any other generic strip club, but we discovered that there's something really special going on there. The patrons, the servers, and the dancers all created a welcoming atmosphere where we were allowed to relax, let loose, and have a great time. It really is one of the best strip clubs in Portland.