The latest stream of bar openings sweeping the nation isn't the usual minimalist dance halls or lounges we've come to know over the past two seasons. They're a bold collection of theme bars and VIP clubs turning nightlife into a spectacle of make-believe.
The bars include a cozy VIP lounge straight out of an Edward Hopper painting, a pre-Bolshevik Russian whisky hall and turn-of-the-century piano bar by a rock legend. Here's a closer look big-city nightlife and how best to get through the door.
Lavo, Las Vegas
Door secrets: Book a late dinner, use the inside VIP staircase.
From the nightlife posse that brought Tao to Sin City, Lavo it's the latest supper club to sweep desert nightlife. Within the Palazzo Resort, Lavo is divided among a main dining room, upstairs nightclub and lounge with outdoor terrace. The menu is by Ludo Lefebvre, formerly of L.A.'s Bastide, who creates a family-style menu of Mediterranean specialties.
The interior design is inspired by the Roman bathhouses of Constantinople with towering ceiling and brocade wall details heavy on eccentric water features. Turkish water basins flank the bridge that leads to the upstairs nightclub where walls of glass overlook the action below. The dance floor is surrounded by an elevated VIP area with banquettes and mirrored alcoves under a domed ceiling that adds to the hallucinogenic 2 a.m. effect.Apple Lounge, Los Angeles
Door secrets: Dress to impress. (The restaurant bans denim jeans.)
It's Hollywood's latest breakout star. The new Apple Lounge makes its subterranean debut under the new Bradley Ogden eatery Apple. The space is familiar to locals who have called it Luna Park, Moomba and Pearl before its current incarnation as a full-service restaurant, Pussycat Lounge and this basement VIP club.