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Last Thursday evening outside Maison a Go Go, Hollywood's newest dance club, roughly 200 people stood on the sidewalk waiting to get in to the preopening VIP party. Even the mayor of Hollywood, Mara Giulianti, had to wait in line behind the velvet ropes.
Giulianti cut the ribbon for the new O'Hara's in Hollywood earlier this year, but Maison a Go Go is a slightly different gig. This may have been the first time the mayor was put in her place by a six-foot drag queen in a miniskirt named Glitz Glamour. "We'll be open in just five minutes," Ms. Glamour told her sweetly.
Hollywood's sleepy downtown has been trying to perk itself up for years now, and the three-story Maison a Go Go, located near Young Circle at 2031 Harrison St., just might do the trick. Built by a 38-year-old developer named Nick Savick, Maison a Go Go aims to bring a little metropolitan flair to Broward County.
"We want to give 'em a taste of what's going on in New York, what's going on in South Beach," said Savick, puffing on a cigar outside the club.
The building, which dates back to the '20s, has an attractive Art Deco façade with a column of glass bricks set in the center and striated lines across the building's crown. Inside, the club combines elements of '90s rave-culture with the retro-martini look of the '60s. The downstairs lounge features plush gold couches, tiki-lamp lighting fixtures, and Klimt-inspired wallpaper. The second-floor bar overlooks the dance floor below, while the small third-floor lounge is full of tables and chairs hand-painted with swirled gold designs.
Just as intriguing were the female bartenders' psychedelic, spandex bodysuits -- colored blue, pink, or green to match their hair. "I have no idea what I'm doing," said one bartender, struggling with her touch-screen cash register. "We don't know what's going on, and there's no price list." On this night, at least, a bottle of Corona went for the princely sum of $4.50.
Kerri, a 25-year-old Fort Lauderdale resident drinking a vodka-cranberry ($5.50), says she usually travels to South Beach to do her dancing. But on Thursday her allegiances were already shifting to Maison a Go Go. "It's a good location," she said. "Especially for those nights that you want to drink but you don't want to drive."
Another plus, according to Kerri, is the "mature" crowd of twenty- and thirtysomethings. On this night, at least, there were only one or two baggy-jeaned, thick-sneakered rave kids spazzing out on the dance floor. "Not like the Chili Pepper," she says. "It kills me to be talking to somebody and then find out they're, like, twenty."
So far, Maison a Go Go has nabbed a handful of high-profile regional DJs such as the South Beach mainstay Mark Leventhal (who will spin classic funk and dance music every Thursday) and Bruce Wilcox (who will play house music every Saturday). The top floor of the club is reserved for cutting-edge jungle, drum 'n' bass, and acid-jazz, with DJs Sway-Z and Andre already booked for residencies. Call 954-927-3635 for more information.