Photo: Chris Guillen

Making the scene at Enclave.
Below: action in a VIP booth

Chic Magnet

Hungry for the next big thing in nightlife, scenesters have been con-gregating lately at Enclave (213 W. Institute Pl.)-which has taken over the Thursday-thru-Sunday-night party slot. Despite the unquestionably clubby scene, general manager Matt Deichl, 26, assures me, “We’re definitely not a club.” Maybe he should tell that to DJ Jernell Geronimo-he’s the resident spinner of all things danceable on Thursday nights, which is when nightlife promoter Tony Macey runs the show. The 15,000-square-foot bi-level space is wide open for people to ogle and dance, with four bars thrown in. Raised, curtained-off booths ring the perimeter of the room, offering a nice touch of privacy-except that you can’t sit in them unless you want to drop upwards of $300 for a bottle of some libation. “It’s a great business-a little less than a third of our sales come from bottle service,” Deichl explains. No wonder, then, that 90 percent of the tables are held for reservations, except for a few left open for VIPs and visiting celebs like the New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi, who were in town recently. But the club-er, “lounge,” as Deichl would like to call it-is designed so that regular folk are plopped into the mix of the action, to mingle with other barely-there 20-somethings and a few of us 30-somethings who have been waiting for more than a year for this sleek space to arrive-finally filling the gap left vacant by the very un-sleek Polly Esther’s. But don’t expect to make this your last stop of the night. “I want nothing to do with that late-night license-they’re more trouble than what they’re worth,” Deichl says. So that leaves room for the next big thing in late-night debauchery. Stay tuned.


Photo: Chris Guillen
Taking in Gen Art’s Chicago Styles ’05

Catwalk Fever

If you’ve ever wondered what is the winning formula for Chicago fashion events, let me break it down for you: get celebs to attend, and give away free loot. Our town’s runway shows rival those of their NYC, L.A., and Miami counterparts. At Marshall Field’s recent Glamorama, which featured fashions by heavyweights (Etro, Jean Paul Gaultier, D&G, Sean John, and others), Saturday Night Live’s Seth Meyers admitted to being a little out of his element. “I’m here because I know some of the organizers and I love coming home to Chicago,” the adorable Northwestern alum and Improv Olympic–trained actor told me. It probably didn’t hurt that Field’s dressed him for the event and he got to keep the clothes. At Gen Art’s recent Chicago Styles ’05, emcee Jay

McCarroll, winner of Bravo’s Project Runway, showed similar lack of interest in the fashion parade. “I’m trashed!” he told the crowd. Maybe that’s because one of the sponsors was Jean Marc XO Vodka, which gave away free bottles of the stuff to VIPs. If you want your fashion fix, check out Gen Art’s grand finale of fashion extravaganzas, Fresh Faces in Fashion, at Millennium Park on September 29th.


Celebrity Beat

You don’t have to ask Jennifer Aniston what she thinks of Chicago’s proposed smoking ban-if you went to Japonais while the movie The Break Up was filming, you might have spotted her puffing away while dining downstairs with her costar Vince Vaughn. . . . Reserve has stayed abreast of the club scene recently by hosting performances by rapper Coolio and DJ to the stars DJ AM, who told me his wedding to Nicole Richie would take place next summer. . . . Ben Stein spent his money dining at Ben Pao on a recent Thursday night. . . . I rode in a brand-new black Range Rover Sport with SNL’s Seth Meyers to Glamorama, where we joined other celebs to pre- and postparty with the likes of Joey Slotnick, Ryan Seacrest, and Lauren Holly and fashionistas Phillip Bloch and E!’s Robert Verdi (who emceed), and Desperate Housewives’ Mark Moses. Afterwards I had dinner at Rockit Bar & Grill with a group that included Slotnick and now-just-friends Jen Schefft and Billy Dec before heading over to Le Passage, where Seacrest and Meyers rejoined to party till the wee hours.