Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it.
Out in Vegas, new clubs are rated with the seriousness and science of Consumer Reports. The Stalkers decided to inject a bit of wry humor into the picture and visited The Bank – Light Group’s facelift of the old Light, inside the Five Diamond-rated Bellagio – on its opening weekend. The 8,000-square-foot venue is all the things you would expect: Opulent, expensive and focused on bottle service. But a few elements were a bit left field.
You know things have gone post-post-modern when the go-go girls don’t dance. Or when one of them dances, and one of them doesn’t. The Bank had two types of dancers: Sporty Spice and Posh Spice. Sporty danced like she was in “Austin Powers”; Posh posed and looked mad. There were at least three of these pairings around the club’s perimeter ledge. It was so weird. I didn’t get it at all.
Another thing I didn’t get: The champagne room. Not the kind you find in the back of strip clubs, no. This was a room with bottles and bottles of Cristal under glass, lining each wall. It was brightly lit and right off the entryway: Who the heck would want to sit in there? The energy of the dancefloor felt like it was a world away. All this is nitpicky though, because when you look at the big picture, the glinting glass, reflective ceiling, and dewy colored lights make for a really nice-looking room. I thought it was cool that the interlocking rectangle pattern on the walls and Plexiglas kind of matched the room’s configuration. It all felt equally cool and luxurious, young and aristocratic. The music was unadventurous – hip-hop-leaning Top 40 – but no one was there for that. I didn’t pay for my drinks so I don’t know how much they cost, but I’m sure it was a lot.
Just getting inside Bellagio is a chore, if you’re on foot. The winding complex which surrounds the hotel’s signature water feature – choreographed geysers that dance to epic, distinctly American music every 15 minutes – adds about 10 minutes to your travel time, which is an eternity in heels. By the time I arrived at The Bank’s velvet rope, I was already in a half-hobble.
That became more of an issue when I started to realize that even though this club is relatively small, walking – make that hiking – is required to navigate it. It still has Light’s rectangular orientation, but multiple levels with multiple stairways now line the perimeter. On top of that, everything is raked upward, to such a degree in some areas that the walkways feel like ramps.
All in all, a tall order for the girl in fierce shoes.
I know that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” doesn’t really apply to clubs, especially Vegas clubs. But what was so wrong with Light that they had to change it? And did they think that they were actually making it better?
Light was cool because it had a big dancefloor, ringed with tables. Now at Bank, there’s a tiny dancefloor – a box within a bunch of other boxes – and tables everywhere. There seems to be a lot less usable space, because so much of it is taken up by railings and stairs and walkways. Maybe they did this to differentiate from their other club, Jet, inside the Mirage, which has a big dancefloor and is known as a DJ spot. I don’t know. But I do know that I always felt like I had to keep moving in this place, or I would be in someone’s way. Then again, I didn’t have a table. So maybe that was the point.