I wanted to hate Envy. I really, really wanted to despise the place.
I expected Envy — yet another installment in the latest assault of shiny, high-end New York-style nightlife establishments in Detroit — to be no different from its now-deceased predecessors, Pure and Bleu.
Nightclubs of this ilk make my skin crawl — $20 cover charge, outrageously overpriced, watered-down drinks, super-slick guys in black leather sport coats wielding fat bank rolls with reckless abandon, and excessively tanned, size 3 women in animal prints bitching about how fat they are while they retrieve their designer drugs from their designer handbags.
The pretension is so thick in the air it leaves a nasty, sticky film all over you.
This is what I expected of Envy, and as I entered through the lush red velvet curtains draped across the doorway, I came poised with an acidic pen in hand, ready to annihilate. I was nearly knocked over by the overpowering wall of Polo Sport.
But color me significantly impressed, because I had Envy all wrong.
All credit goes to owner Andrus McDonald, who says he doesn’t want Envy to be a mecca of superficiality. The young entrepreneur says cover will never exceed $10, the same price as Space, the only other thriving “high-end” nightclub that seems to have successfully dodged the snooty bullet.
My mouth hung agape for several minutes after he casually mentioned that he refuses to add a VIP area to the club. He says several patrons have requested an exclusive lounge area, but McDonald won’t bend, insisting that he wants the clubbing experience to be equal for everyone.
Bless you, Andrus, bless you.
Another wonderful aspect to Envy is the refreshingly diverse cross section of ethnicities represented in the crowd. I can’t tell you how delightful it was to not have to look at the same old sea of carbon-copy faces.
Decor? The bar is lush and elegant, with cozy booths ideal for snogging, and a nice, spacious dance floor for plenty of ass-shaking. And the bartenders sure are purty! From fire-breathing antics to absolutely shameless and unabashed flirtation, they’ll be sure to keep you entertained all night.
Suffice to say I was thoroughly won over when I was beckoned behind the bar so that three hunky beefcakes could hoist me above their heads, while a lovely lass climbed atop the bar and poured a bottle of Belvedere straight down my throat — hello, Kodak moment. Unfortunately, most of the liquor missed my mouth and went up my nose, in my eyes, in my hair and down my shirt, in a sort of bastardized alcoholic version of the Flashdance water scene. Take it from me, kids, don’t try this at home — hell, don’t try it at the bar, either. I’m still blowing vodka out my nose.
After recovering from temporary blindness, I convinced lovely ladies Erica Rutledge, Tracey L. Slade, and Jackie Faris to strike a pose for the camera, and also captured the souls of the singularly named sextet consisting of Dustin, Choan, Darvin, Patrick, Toan and Frank.
Spotted in the amicable, pulsating crowd throughout the evening: Powerhouse Gym guru Jeff Abro, photographer Monica Dearling, the self-professed “un-angelic” Angel Brown, mathematician Derek Allman, and professional bar-bunny Maria Cartwright.
So, go and check out Envy, 234 W. Larned. Fridays and Saturdays are the hipster club circuit, but the bar is open Wednesday through Sunday, and off nights are perfect for a quiet drink after work in a posh but pleasant atmosphere. If you read my random bitchiness with any regularity, you’ll know that I’m not easily swayed by these new “high end” nightspots — so Envy is definitely doing something right.
Sunday was time once again for the holy day of all things and persons even remotely related to the Irish, the venerable Saint Patrick’s Day — or, as I like to call it, Consume And Subsequently Vomit Copious Amounts Of Green Beer Day.
It doesn’t matter if you’re 100 percent Irish or one-tenth Irish, or just think you’re Irish because you like Guinness. Who cares? Let’s get wasted on watered-down Miller Lite dosed with green food coloring! It never ceases to amaze me how this holiday inspires people to brandish their Irish pride by getting completely and utterly shitfaced in honor of their alleged heritage.
I’d love to tell you how I went out carousing the Irish pubs, but I can’t. The lines at every single bar I approached — the Old Shillelagh, Foran’s, Conor O’Neill’s — were wrapped around the block, all impenetrable. However, cell phone reports from my correspondents Foxy Fearless and Betty Gravel — who did manage to shove their way into a pub or four — confirmed that people were wearing stupid leprechaun hats, spreading Irish cheer, and dutifully getting completely and utterly shitfaced. Quel surprise.
Heads up, musicians — there’s a brand-new, state-of-the-art recording studio in town. RKS Recording in Pontiac opened its doors in style, kicking things off with a grand-opening party that featured live performances (which were recorded, of course) by Saoco and Jo Serrapere & Her Hot Tail Section.
If you’re interested in booking some studio time, check out www.rksrecording.com.Sarah Klein is not a scenester, damn it. Send lame hate mail, hot tips and desperate pleas for attention to [email protected], or call the tip line at 313-962-5281. Press * then dial