View more photos in Shannon Cottrell's mr. BLACK slideshow.
When Luke Nero moved to Los Angeles, he brought the hippest gay club in New York City with him. But as the doors opened last night at Bardot for the first installment of the Tuesday night party mr. BLACK LA, one had to wonder if a club whose identity is based on its association with the movers and shakers of NYC nightlife could work here. The answer is yes.
Nero's plan is golden. He's not recreating New York so much as he's using the original club as blueprint to develop an event that is truly local. For the opening of mr. BLACK, he collaborated with Gregory Alexander (A Club Called Rhonda), Lenora Claire (Golden Gals Gone Wild) and Rusty Updegraff (Beige) to bring in a cross-section of the city's nightlife denizens. Between the three hosts, the party cultivated a large and eclectic crowd.
We knew the party was going to be off the hook when we saw writer/illustrator Angus Oblong (The Oblongs) walk into the room wearing his usual clown make-up and a t-shirt that read "NO" while accompanied by a friend dressed identically. That was only the beginning. Maneuvering their way through a crowd of impeccably dressed patrons were the club's waiters, a handful of men serving drinks with their backsides exposed, and Devil's Playground creator Courtney Cruz acting as a cocktail waitress. Up in the DJ booth, Riley More (Space Is the Place, BFD), who is one of the city's most underrated DJs, played a spectacular set that moved from David Bowie to Hercules and Love Affair to minimal techno and then into pop tunes without ever losing a beat. Following her was Josh Peace, whose house stylings have helped make Mustache Mondays the wildly popular party it is.
Back inside the crowd, we ended up talking old Hollywood with Alexis Arquette, producer Kim Fowley and Vera Miles, Jr. (granddaughter of actress Vera Miles), swapping new music tips with local DJs like Cody Wayne (Par Avion, Outré) and stalking club personalities like Ernie Omega and Marie Saint Bauptist for photos.
Our verdict: mr BLACK LA has the potential to become the most influential new club on the nightlife circuit. We can't wait to go back.