Night Crawler

A go-go dancer gyrates under pulsing lights, bumping and grinding to the hi-NRG beats laid down by DJs Matthew Consola, Downtown Donna, and Sergio. She's got a naughty smile on her face and pneumatic assets that threaten to defy her skimpy bikini top. But aside from a few cocktail sippers who lounge at the bar under large potted trees, the sea of women on the sunken dance floor is indifferent to the hired vixen's efforts.

Housed in the former Oasis, V/SF -- the latest and arguably classiest addition to the lesbian/gay club circuit -- is doing booming business this weekend as nearly 1,400 patrons celebrate the grand opening of "Viva" on Friday and the "G-Spot" on Saturday, the newly renovated venue's first official DJ events. At the "G-Spot," a queue of the creme de la creme of the hip, trendy, and queer stretches around the block, the assembled battling the downpour with umbrellas and newspapers.

"Will you just look at those lines!" a young man remarks to his date, indicating three women in matching designer leathers. "Now, those are some lapels!"

Although the "G-Spot" is typically a female affair, a bevy of men passes under the discerning eye of the formidable female doorstaff. "Well, I had so much fun last night [at the opening of the male-oriented 'Viva']," divulges Gabe, who also frequents 1015 Folsom and the "Box," "that I thought I'd just bop down for a minute and see how tonight was. [The new owners have] really done a number on this place."

" 'Viva' did amazingly well," boasts co-owner Devan Pailet. "It was one of the most diverse nights I've seen. Not just because there were men and women, but because there were so many nationalities and ethnicities represented. I think it could have even rivaled the Box in that respect."

Inside, the lounge (a room rarely used when the building was open as the Oasis) is strictly SRO. An elegant starlet in a black, floor-length cocktail dress and pink boa slinks up a wrought-iron staircase while two men with shorn heads and perfect goatees feed each other olives at the bar. Swaths of wine-colored velvet frame brightly painted murals: beautiful girls on one wall, beautiful boys on the other. Women lucky enough to have scored chairs gather around medieval-looking stone tables and admire an ornate love seat that reaches the ceiling.

"It's kind of got a castle-thing going, huh?" says one charmer. "Hey! Have you seen the pool room?" Without waiting for an answer, she takes my arm and pulls me through a doorway into an Alice-in-Wonderland nightmare: a room awash in black light and psychedelic Day-Glo paint, with a plaster fountain spewing lime-green water.

"If you wear 3-D glasses in here, the carpet comes right up at you," she laughs. "It's like you're floating in the stuff."

Ginnie Getz, the editor of L.A.'s Girl Guide, peeks in to take a few photos of three nymphets half obscured by a cloud of cigarette smoke. "I kind of got here on a fluke," she says. "I called the ['G-Spot'] hot line and it said the club had moved. But it's great."

After four years at the EndUp and a year at the Stud, the "G-Spot" has apparently found a happy, perhaps permanent, home at V/SF. "It's really wonderful to be able to offer this sort of space to women," enthuses Mariah Hanson, "G-Spot" 's promoter of five years.

As for celebrity sightings, one patron claims that Cher's daughter, Chastity Bono, was standing behind her in line, just as wet and bedraggled as everyone else. "I thought it was great that everyone had to pay to get in," she laughs. Although Bono was deemed "very sweet, but shy," her girlfriend got the big babe rating.

By Silke Tudor

 
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