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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Greystone Manor Supperclub: Tacky Returns to Hollywood

by Kari Tervo

When one thinks of a "supperclub," one thinks of a classy 1950s cabaret, with accommodating staff and patrons on their best behavior dressed to the nines. A name like Greystone Manor Supperclub is likely intended to invoke such an era. With its opulent decor and its name borrowed from nearby Graystone Mansion, an elegant Beverly Hills estate, one would expect some taste and class. However, Greystone Manor Supperclub, a nightclub in West Hollywood, has about all the class of a Venice boardwalk t-shirt shop. The place is tacky, sleazy, and overtly capitalistic.

I love nightlife! I'm a sucker for a great sound system and a high-energy dance floor, drink prices be damned. So I recently decided to check the place out after suddenly running into VIP tickets. SBE Nightlife, headed by Sam Nazarian, runs the place. I was excited to experience the club, which has a great deal of buzz. However, I was disappointed by the club and the churlish staff behavior. Here's a run-down of what you can expect at Greystone Manor Supperclub:

CLICK RAWR TO GIVE THE SIDE-EYE TO GREYSTONE MANOR!


AT THE DOOR
  • Surly, snooty door people will pointedly ignore you. I had a very reasonable question about the benefits of my VIP ticket, but was unable to catch the attention of the 10 staff members out front. It was pretty apparent they were directed to ignore customers. Finally, a door guy walked over to me with the enthusiasm one might have on the way to the electric chair, pretended to listen to my question for about three seconds, and then veered away to one of his staff, where they openly rolled their eyes at me and whispered. Who does that? Sam Nazarian, why would you allow such behavior, or encourage an environment in which such snotty rudeness is so casually exhibited? It was unprofessional, immature, and frankly, perplexing. I can't comprehend why anyone would put up with that kind of treatment a second time.
  • Although the tickets say the doors open at 10 pm, they will not open at 10 pm. For theater purposes, you will wait over an hour in an increasing crowd so that the club may create "sidewalk buzz." The idea is for people to think, "Oh wow, that club is so crazy, people are clamoring to get in!" No, that's just paying customers being presented like cocktail cattle at a sleazy nightlife rodeo.
  • If you pay $75 for VIP tickets--the sole benefit of which is that you wait in a shorter entrance line--you will be ignored when the doors finally open at 11:15 pm. A gaggle of bandage-dressed hot chicks in stilletos, hand-picked from the "regular" line, will squeal up the steps well before you so they can pre-load the place with eye candy.
  • There will be bro-guys flashing Rolexes and AmEx platinum cards at the bouncer, angling to get in faster. Not only is that so gross, but sorry, doll: This is LA. Platinum AmEx means nothing. You have to have a black card. If you're going to pull that, at least do it right, or SBE will think they can continue to sell the idea of "Hollywood nightlife" to a bunch of suburban kids bussed up from Orange County.
INSIDE
  • The decor is pretty nice, but there is not actually food served at this "supperclub," unless you want to be cordoned off in a tiny, empty, gray room off to the side of the club.
  • The sound system is great! And there's a cool LED screen at the DJ booth. The lighting guys are pro, and I saw them having a great time lighting the place up! But there is no discernible dance floor. The areas that can serve as a dance floor are taken up by people who have purchased bottle service. "Bottle service" will be a clear theme through the rest of this review.
  • If you ask staff a reasonable question--in this case, "Are the tables reserved for bottle service only?" you will be regarded as shoe-goo. There must be a mandatory Snooty Training for all staff members.
  • The club is filled with "hostesses," chicks in black lingerie (garters, the works). Why they need to be dressed like Robert Palmer's Cinemax fantasy, I have no idea. It's like they're being served up as sex objects as a favor to the male customers (disgusting enough: Hello? There are female humans here, too?), but the real purpose is to seduce them into buying bottle service. The "hostesses" slither-dance all over the couches and preen. Real classy joint you got here!
  • Given that the vibe is established at the door as one of "good enough" vs. "not good enough," expect a lot of aggressive shoulder-bumping from the clientele. It's not Greystone Manor, it's Greystone Poor Manners.
  • About that bottle service: If you're not familiar, bottle service is when you pay $1,000 for a bottle of liquor that you could have purchased for $35 in a store. I truly do not understand the appeal of bottle service. I guess it's a means of social posturing, but who honestly buys into the idea that paying an exorbitant fee for a bottle of liquor makes you anything other than easily-manipulated?
  • The only way you are allowed to sit down at one of the many tables is if you have ordered bottle service. This creates a de facto social divide within the club, and also, a degree of class warfare. I observed one "have-not" fling his cocktail at someone dancing on one of the bottle service couches (which is overtly encouraged by staff, to make everyone think that buying bottle service is the best! time! ever!).
  • Oh, and there's more about that bottle service: If you haven't guessed by now, Greystone Manor is focused on selling grossly overpriced liquor, not providing a true nightclub experience (like, one focused on enjoyment). Hence, you will be subjected to direct advertising for this "service." Get this tacky shit: The lingerie-girls are regularly paraded around the club on the shoulders of male staff, holding liquor bottles with glow sticks inside and like, marching them up and down. This parade was brought up on the end by a guy in a tiger suit. I am not joking. I am just flummoxed that anyone would think this is a good idea.
So,  Pop Culture Beasties, if you enjoy being regarded as cocktail cattle, treated like a lesser human being, and subjected to snooty clubbers and tacky advertising gambits, Greystone Manor is the place for you. If you enjoy actually having a good time, may I recommend chemotherapy? It's better for your body and soul than the snooty rudeness shot into your veins at Greystone Manor Supperclub. There are so many excellent clubs in Hollywood that have great dance floors and professional staff. There's no reason to waste your money on a place that insults you for wanting to spend it there.



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