There’s a running joke in Clubland that when a bar starts having bikini nights, you can bet business ain’t great.
Under the umbrella category of “bikini night,” we can also put Jell-O wrestling, spaghetti wrestling, and pretty much anything that gets attractive young gals to wear as little clothing as possible, including theme parties.
But someone must have forgotten to tell Darren Rhea, owner of Neon Moon Saloon. Even though business is as boot-scootin’ as ever at the long-standing Stockyards dance club, Rhea and company have recently gone forward with assorted theme nights, notably a pajama party, toga, and “naughty school girl” night. They’ve all been successful. As we all know, nothing gets cash registers a-ringin’ like purty girls. (For photographic documentation, check out www.theneonmoonsaloon.com.)
Don’t worry: When I visited last weekend on a non-themed night, my tush stayed firmly planted at the bar. Not that I would have wanted to cut the rug with some of the bods on parade (I’m almost engaged, thank you), but I had a good reason to stay put. Actually, about six of ‘em. The Jack Daniels “Slushee” is not a real Slushee, naturally, but it does taste like one – one that just so happens to be loaded with cola and JD. At a meager $3.25, it’s also Last Call’s heat-beater of the summer.
Anyway, the Stockyards dance scene overall has been a little fickle lately. All of the other clubs seem to have conceded the weekends and young, middle-class partiers to Neon Moon. Maybe in this case, bikini night doesn’t mean “last-ditch pitch for business” but “eat our dust, competition.”
Last week, the Metroplex was Sportstown, U.S.A. – not only were the hometown Dallas Mavericks competing for the NBA championship, but the World Cup had kicked off.
Let’s just say I’m glad it’s all over.
Speaking as both a sports fan and, more importantly, a card-carrying member of Clubland, I thought the overall experience had its moments but was more or less exhausting. I don’t really follow soccer, but I didn’t expect the Mavs’ wonderful season to crumble beneath an orange t-bumper of Dwayne Wade jumpers.
I also expected to grab a drink somewhere in Clubland without having either soccer or hoops shoved down my throat. But no such luck.
You can’t blame club owners here, though. Take a look at our spot on the map and the two sports involved, and you’ll see why our hang-outs did right by showing the games.
First, basketball has always been an urban, blue-collar, blue-and-red-state sport, and while the Mavs have yet to win a championship, they’ve been knocking on the door for the past few years. Second, soccer is the only sport that appeals to the combination of groups that make up a large swath of our demographic: Hispanics, European and Asian immigrants, and moneyed suburbanites.
So here we have a sports-town hungry for a professional championship and populated by the kinds of people who love soccer – why did I expect anything less than overkill?
The biggest bright spot, far as I could tell, was brisk business. Every club I visited during games did well. I also discovered a way for some wily club owner to separate himself from the rest of the pack next time Cowtown goes sports crazy: Keep the tv’s locked on C-SPAN.
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Neon Moon Saloon
2509 Rodeo Plaza, FW.