One of the best things about Grammy Party Weekend? Getting to check out the velvet roped dens du jour one might not frequent in Hollywood in fell swoop. Most pre-Grammy events this year were at the newest and nicest swankpits in town (Roxbury, Supperclub, Hemingways, Colony, Playhouse, Music Box) all within blocks of each other on and just off the boulevard (which made the $15 valet fees a bit easier to swallow).
Convenient, yes, but planning a viable soiree schedule even with everything in close proximity was still a challenge. Party hopping during this chaotic weekend is a gamble because with everybody out, something inevitably gets filled to capacity and shut down courtesy of the LA Fire Marshal.
This year it was the 14th Annual Friends & Family event at Paramount Studios that ceased patronage. Its epic gates were impenetrable by around midnight leaving cell-punching hordes in clubwear clustered on Van Ness. F&F was the biggest bash Friday in terms of size and guestlist, so we saved it for last, and though there appeared to be many people leaving (to go to other parties too) when we got there, the guards would not budge, even for some Grammy nominees (and important -cough-cough- press). Looks like we missed quite the killer bash. See pics here.
Two of Hollywood's sleekest hotspots hosted some humdingers that were hard to leave earlier in the evening. At Colony, the swanky SBE luxe lounge on Cahuenga, OK! mag and Step Up Women's Network offered Natasha Bedingfield live, Ciroc and Godiva cocktails and model DJs. Beats were supplied by sexy/sexist(?) agency STADJ.com (which actually has height requirements for its lineup of laptop mixing lovelies and no, it didn't originate in LA, but NY). The femme-heavy crowd -including famous felines like Nicole Scherzinger shook their sequins on the floor. Serena Williams (rocking a bedazzled foot cast) didn't.
At Roxbury (formerly Ivar) up the street, Sean Patrick, Michael Utsinger and artist Louis Carreon's popular Friday fete upped the ante for the Grammys, joining forces with Giant (creator Dave Dean is a partner at the place, owned by original Roxbury royalty Elie Samaha). Headlined by nominee Wolfgang Gartner and featuring an opening set by JFK (MSTRKRFT), this party was poppin with throbbing sounds, ebullient energy and edgy, pretty people (aka not the usual lycra-clad Snooki clones seen weekends on the blvd these days).
It may not have been officially a Grammy-related thing, but Freak City obviously likes any excuse to party, and many in the know H-wood hoppers ended the evening at FC's new location above the Antennae clothing store near Cahuenga. We opted for this underground scene over other Friday haps including Bruno Mars mash and Tricky Stewart's. Stones Throw and Freak's Rick Ross threw the bash together at the last minute with the indie label's new psych band The Stepkids playing early and Peanutbutter Wolf spinning late. Colorful retro fashion and a loft-party feel made this one our favorite fete of the eve, and we hear there's many more to come.
See more photos in this week's Nightranger slideshow.