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Queen of Clubs?

My target destination Friday night was the Crobar party toasting club owner Joey Vartanian’s 25th anniversary in the biz, which I wrote about it in Thursday’s post. Now, Crobar isn’t my usual scene - I’m not really a club kid; never was - but I had to see what all the hype was about.

A couple of friends and I started off at Marc Bortz’s sushi restaurant in the Weed Street District, Tokyo 21. Over a sushi sampler and a couple of bottles of hot sake at the bar, we made a new friend, Michael Laungani, 31, a Chicago-based consultant and contestant from season five of The Apprentice. Laungani was also one of People magazine’s hottest bachelors last year - and let me tell you, he is hot. Very. Hot. But also down-to-earth and a really likable guy. He and his friend, a professional poker player from Vegas, continued on to Crobar with us to check out the party.

It was just one of those nights: Horses, knights, and little people dressed as court jesters greeted us out front. In the VIP room upstairs, we found more treats, including purple Jell-O shots on every table, 40 ouncers served in brown bags, cans of Silly String, and swings installed just for the party (I had some fun on those). All of the props referenced bars Joey has owned in his 25 years in the business. “My staff threw this party together for me,” he told me, excitedly.

I ran into a lot of industry people, including some of the drinking buddies Joey mentioned in Thursday’s post. The biggest hit of the night was the Patron fountain - because, after all, Joey likes his Patron chilled. We hung around for the ceremonial serving of the cake from the Cake Girls bakery: It was in the shape of a king’s crown, similar to the headgear Joey sported during the party. Must be nice to be king.

On Saturday afternoon, Team Lush convened to watch the Final Four at Cans, our favorite meeting spot during March Madness. When I got there around 4 p.m., I was greeted by the Bud Light Girls (no little people here), dressed in short-shorts and striped tube socks. They were a big hit with the boys, although not a single one of the guys could score a basket in the table-top promotional game the BLGs had set up. Aimee, my other Apprentice friend, who was on the show this season, was the only one who made the shot; she won a Bud Light. That kept us entertained us for a good 20 minutes.

After the games, we headed to Mr. Popular’s house for a couple of cocktails before making our way to Eleven City Diner for a Friends of the Israel Defense Forces fundraiser. Once the open bar ran out, we left to meet up with friends at Citizen - again. I’m not even sure why we went; I think my friend was trying to reconnect with a girl he’d met there. But my night didn’t stop there: I ended up at RiNo, the 4 a.m. bar just down the street from Citizen, even though I’d sworn off it months ago (it’s nearly impossibly to get into). The place was jammed - they really pack ’em in - and I ended up in the kitchen, a.k.a. the club’s behind-the-scenes VIP lounge, talking to the owners about their new spot, Manor, that’s opening in the old Pasha space in about a month. Stay tuned for details.

I may not be queen of the clubs, but I certainly can keep up with the best of them.

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