Reserve: The Guided Tour

Since opening Reserve has become a magnet for celebrities, scenesters, and marketers looking for a hot spot. With a rope outside and another inside leading to the upstairs club, Reserve works hard to live up toits name. Here is a guided tour.

The White Sox partied here not long after their winning championship. Drew Barrymore was spotted canoodling with her hipster boyfriend, Fabrizio Moretti from The Strokes. Chloë Sevigny came by last April when her brother, Paul, worked the DJ booth. Since opening in October 2004, the West Loop nightclub Reserve (858 W. Lake St.) has become a magnet for celebrities, scenesters, and marketers looking for a hot spot to launch a product. With a rope outside and another inside leading to the upstairs club, Reserve works hard to live up toits name. Here, based on personal observation and a source in the club’s management, is a guided tour.

 

 
 

 

1) A little patience, some planning, and at least $20 will usually get you into the downstairs lounge. If you’ve called ahead to reserve a table (which means you’re obligated to buy a bottle or two) or you show up before 10:30 p.m., the cover is waived, and the wait will be minimal.

2) In March 2005, after a tour stop in Chicago, Tommy Lee’s bus disgorged a midget, followed by 15 or so strippers, and finally the tattooed star himself.

3) In June, a giant tiger prowled outside the rear entrance-a prop for the Roberto Cavalli fashion show inside. The show also featured an eight-foot boa constrictor whose trainer wrapped it around willing women.

4) Access to the coveted upstairs club where the real fun takes place means waiting in yet another line where the selection process is a little trickier. Regulars and those with reserved tables don’t have a problem whiz-zing past the velvet rope. If you’re a virgin to the scene, prepare to juice Mr. Rope Man.

5) The downstairs lounge was closed to the public last March when Coldplay held its end-of-tour bash. The band ordered in a variety of games-Xbox, Ms. Pac-man, foosball-and had them set up along with black-jack and roulette tables.

6) Wyclef Jean, Drew Barrymore, and Jeremy Piven partied together in September 2005, the night before hosting a charity event in the ‘burbs. Jean sang his own songs from a window ledge, while Barrymore and beau Fabrizio Moretti danced.

7) Porn star Ron Jeremy had a close encounter with a fan on the outside back stairway last May.

8) Michael Jordan will sit only at table 501. Jordan and BET founder Robert L. Johnson celebrated their new partnership in the Charlotte Bobcats here last March.

9) Wearing an Illini shirt, Bill Murray danced on the ledge after Illinois won a semifinal NCAA Tournament game in March 2005.

10) DJ AM holds his monthly residency in the elevated booth. Women frequently try to join him inside or dance on the ledge in front to snag his attention.

11) The Black Eyed Peas partied with friend DJ AM in October 2005.

12) Dennis Rodman went shirtless in May 2005 at the Captain Morgan Tattoo launch party; apparently, he wanted to match the body-painted models following him around.

13) In April 2005, Lenny Kravitz stopped in the night before his show at the Congress Theater, sat in a roped-off corner booth drinking room-temperature water, and insisted that no one near him smoke.

14) In February 2005, Jeremy Piven hung out back with a pack of Elite models dressed as angels.

15) A regular client ordered the first Ruby Red Cocktail here for $950. The drink comes with an actual ruby.

16) Club dancers wearing short shorts shake it on the window ledges.

17) On busy nights upstairs, the best bet for some privacy is in the booths in the back of the room.

Illustrations: John Wiencek

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