It's early enough on a Friday that the line is minimal outside Lotus Lounge, one of Atlanta's newest clubs. A maze of velvet ropes snakes around from the valet service where several large men in black suits stand with their hands clasped in front of them as they wave in a ratio of three-to-one in the guys' favor. It's ladies' night (every Friday is), which means the fairer sex is in for free before midnight.
The Asian-themed decor offers a backdrop to make Lotus guests feel a little more exotic. To the left of the entrance is a staircase leading to an exclusive balcony for members and invited guests only. Member access runs from $1,000 to $2,500 annually and those privileged enough to make it, past yet another suited man with an earpiece to make Secret Service agents envious, may drink at the private bars upstairs. The main bar on the first floor is a force to be reckoned with, despite its lack of exclusivity. It's huge, round and quite efficient while balancing a giant lotus flower on the apex of shelves holding bottles of liquor – a floral centerpiece for the entire club.
While the bar is aesthetically pleasing, so are its tenders. A tall, blondish heartbreaker sporting a faux-hawk and unabashed charm is gathering a collection of favorite customers. His section is more of a stage for a one-man show of spinning shakers, floating Grand from three feet above the glass and winking at the ladies. This bartender's name is Ryan, and he makes a yummy Sangria Martini – a Lotus Lounge favorite.
"Clubbing" is somewhat of an acquired taste. To "club," one must partake in certain activities that can include but are not limited to drinking liquor, acting confidently and dressing identically to everyone else around. Lotus Lounge has escaped this stereotype. In fact, diversity is one of its biggest attributes. There are representatives from all over the city (and world) and even the private rooms lack homogeneity.
Ignoring the few eager fans banging on the glass and requesting "Baby Got Back," DJ One (an Atlanta staple whose reputation precedes him) spins an aural buffet of down-tempo beats to Top 40 remixes. High-powered air conditioners pump a cool breeze down onto the oscillating crowd. Toward the back of the floor is a solid wooden ledge where some females have taken to borderline exhibitionism – another acceptable "clubbing" activity. This is especially true on ladies' night.
Back at the bar, a twentysomething guy chats up a girl he has captured. He slides a shot down to her and it teeters off the mark from her open hand. "You know, I was at this other club last night, and it was this kid's 21st birthday. He was doing shots of Cuervo," he says, snubbing the salt and lime "training wheels" that were placed beside his own tiny glass. "This is Patron," he whispers, as if to inform her of some classy clubbing rite of passage before whacking it back with a hiss. As he saunters back to his private table, crossing an invisible force field marking the perimeter of the dance floor, he feels the need to "walk it out" until reaching his private table on the other side. She's not impressed with his exit.
Lotus Lounge is open Thurs.-Sat. from 8 p.m.-3 a.m. Ladies in free before midnight on Fridays. VIP event and table reservations quoted upon request.
come on man you know you got a bromance. you probably still rock that OutKast…
Yes, 14 is the correct answer. I'll pass your info along to the group's manager,…
That was January of 2007, and they are 21 now, so I'm guessing 14?