The Bar Tab (09-13-06)

A busy night at Suede Lounge.
I am not a fan of smoky, crowded venues blaring the alleged “Top 40” as frazzled clubbers bumble their sticky bodies into each other. And don’t even get me started on the leg-humpers, whose brain cells transmit one message and one message only. No, I prefer to relax within my personal bubble, converse with interesting people, and keep my sweat to myself. So, Suede Lounge sounded intriguing; suede has a nice feel to it, and, honestly, who doesn’t like to lounge?

Approaching Suede, my companion and I see two large men in black guarding the door; slightly intimidating, yes, but also slightly intriguing. Upon entering, we are greeted by lounging option number one: a few modernly minimalist armchairs, mingling cursorily on a small platform — a nice option for

Suede lounge
231 E. Houston
Drinks: $5+

gradually integrating into or extricating oneself from a night at the club. A concrete staircase with cold wire railing eyes us distrustfully, daring us to venture up to the dark dance floor. Instead, we walk past some interesting artwork toward a large, glowing bar smiling beneath an even-larger movie screen. Lining the right side of the club are sofas, chaises, and more armchairs nestled into a mysterious candlelit darkness. They beckon the lazy patron, but I stand strong against temptation.

Dazzled by the under-lit stair-steps of drinks, I ask the bartender to make me something creative. After some swishing and shaking, he hands me a pink drink, topped with an orange twist, precariously sloshing in a martini glass. Pinkie up, I make my way to the cozy cave that has been whispering my name. As it turns out, these tables are usually reserved about a week in advance, but some of the enclave’s inhabitant’s invite us to stay.

After finishing my refreshing, but not overly sweet, beverage, we head upstairs to the mezzanine. Furnished with one long sofa and coffee tables, and backlit in an almost hauntingly moon-through-the-windows manner, the balcony runs the length of the upstairs wall, providing a view of the movie screen and club below, as well as offering clients a less- abrupt introduction to the dance floor. After a few minutes of observing the reactions of house music and alcohol, my friend and I make our way down the concrete-and-wire staircase, past the initial lounging area, and wave goodbye to the men in black.

Suede Lounge is about what the name implies, a soft, somewhat classy gathering place where earth, industry, darkness, lighting, and people all come together to create a classy cocktail of comfort and entertainment.


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