Los Angeles has the right weather for it, but proper day clubs here are few and far between.
Sure, the rooftop of the Standard Hotel downtown is a mainstay, the Roosevelt Hotel's pool gets its share of parties, and SBE's XIV Sessions brought a little bit of Vegas to Sunset Boulevard before closing.
But a true day club is a fully realized, fair-weather version of an adjacent night club. Think Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub in Las Vegas. L.A.'s day parties are more about swimming pools and rooftops.
Stephan Seguin, the former top honcho at SBE's Create superclub in Hollywood, has teamed up with Peter Famulari of Skybar fame and events guru Michael Utsinger to bring proper daytime clubbing to L.A.
They're calling the venue Sunbar, and it debuts this Saturday (yes, on the Fourth of July) with a weekly day party called Craze. The venue is the reimagined courtyard garden of the historic Hollywood Athletic Club on Sunset Boulevard, which previously housed Famulari's Boulevard3.
“It's beautiful garden, and we redid all the cabanas and added some elevated seating,” Seguin said. “We made it a lot more pleasing to the eye.”
For now, the daytime festivities are limited to Craze Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. It will run until winter really starts to bite, whenever that might be, Seguin said. There's no cover, but cabana reservations with bottle service are recommended.
The day club will include an indoor game room, a pool table, beer pong, Xbox games, checkers, popcorn machines, carts with frozen fruit, a cotton-candy machine and a 30-foot “stripper pole” used by aerialist performers.
“Most important,” says Seguin, “the bar will be all mixology — high-end craft cocktails.”
He also promises “many pretty faces.”
But what about the most important part, the music? It seems that, for now, Sunbar will eschew the growing cheese of day club EDM in favor of “deep, sexy house” and “vocal, sing-along hip-hop,” Seguin says.
The day will open with a proper, two-and-a-half hour house set before the hip-hop reaches for the night.
Another refreshing element of Craze at Sunbar could be its service. We watched Seguin ensure guests at Create were well taken care of, and he plans to bring more of the same restaurant-style hospitality to his latest adventure.
Service at Vegas clubs is civilized, and Seguin says New York invented it. But in L.A. it seems that being treated like cattle with wallets by club staffs is the norm.
“We want to deliver the service and not be snotty,” he said. “I hope that our place is going to be … what people have been missing — something refreshing.”
Craze featuring DJs Ross One and Bobby Nourmand opens at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 4, at Sunbar, 6525 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. 21+. More info.