I spent yesterday afternoon checking out a few art galleries on the westside with Craig. By the time I made my way back downtown, I was ready for a drink. We headed to The Broadway Bar for a preview (it opens tonight), courtesy of my friend, who I think I'll blogname Kitty. Kitty is on the steering committe of a "societe anonyme" based in downtown Los Angeles. They're looking to update their stodgy image, so Kitty is reaching out to a younger and hipper crowd. Sort of like why Prince Charles grooved on Princess Di back in the day. So there we were, wondering if we'd wind up in a fiery car crash, but hoping we'd have a good time .
There were four reasons I wanted to hit the shindig: 1) check out the bar before the hoi polloi swarm it; 2) find out more about this secret society; 3) watch the relighting of the Eastern Columbia Building's Gothic-influenced clock tower; and 4) all you can drink champagne.
The crowd wasn't very friendly but the barstaff was, the food looked great but wasn't particularly tasty, Cedd Moses isn't the most charismatic host, but that's okay because Tom Gilmore was in the house and he's got enough charm for the whole damn building. The space is nice enough, I like the balcony on the 2nd floor. But the layout, the decor, the lighting, the setup - it was okay, but it wasn't blowing my skirt up. Before heading upstairs for the free champagne and other cocktails, we sat at the bar downstairs for one round of pricey drinks and to check out the very conservative crowd. We looked everywhere but didn't see Kitty anywhere. Slowly, our crowd made its way downtown and into the party - Adrienne from LAist, Gabrielle from Single Shot, and Jim from UglyTown.
So how secret can a secret society be if they have a publicist? As I worked the room, I asked around, but I didn't meet one person at the shindig who would cop to belonging to this society. I decided to drink a glass of champagne for everyone I chatted up who isn't a member of the society. Kitty was still nowhere to be found. I met a few members of the Los Angeles Athletic Club, they were nice enough, but I couldn't help but feel like they were wondering who the hell invited us and what the hell to say next. I wandered over to the downstairs bar and found Jim and Gabrielle talking to a couple whose names I forget. They mentioned that they didn't know many of the people in the crowd either, they were looking for LAAC members. Jokingly, I said, "Just look for the most boring people in the crowd, they're probably members." I didn't know at the time that they just recently joined the LAAC. I think they knew I was just kidding, they didn't seem upset.
I heard something about some sort of ceremony or something to celebrate the relighting of the clock tower, but I think we were all too drunk to care. I was already on the balcony, so I looked across the street and up, sure enough, the clock tower was lit. The crowd was winding down, the champagne was all gone and I had almost given up hope of spotting Kitty, when finally, the crowd parted - and there was Kitty. She asked if we had enough, I showed her my purse crammed with business cards and phone numbers, and she asked, "Anybody cute?" There were a few, so I nodded. "Anybody worth staying here for?" I made a face, so she said, "Then let's go to Cole's!" We said our goodbyes, decided not to give our information cards to the "secret society" publicist, and off we went to the best damn bar downtown.