As the limo rolling down 5th Street pulled over to the curb and stopped, I wondered if it would disgorge somebody famous. Or at least glamorous. I was sitting on one of the cushiony hassocks scattered throughout Vee Lounge’s smoking area, a sort of veranda outside the new downtown dance club. The driver got out and opened the passenger door. An Asian guy in his late 30s emerged.
“He does not look famous,” I said to my date.
We waited. “What about him?” she said. “He looks like a basketball player!”
Indeed, the next passenger to appear from inside the car was a black dude who was well over 6-feet-huge. He unfolded himself and slouched toward the red-roped entrance.
This was Friday night, during the Vee’s grand opening, and the Mavs were in Phoenix, finishing off the Suns. If the giant who’d stepped out of the limo was in the NBA, he obviously had the night off.
We’d come out onto the outer part of the Vee because she wanted to smoke and I wanted to see what a particular sixtysomething guy in a blue sport coat and sunglasses was up to. He’d been behind us in line, and by virtue of wearing sunglasses indoors, he’d garnered my attention.
Through the course of our night, we followed him at a distance, watching to see how a guy like that behaves in a place like this.
I’m not really sure what I expected him to do, other than maybe order bottle service (which he did) and possibly keep the company of an attractive woman half his age (yep). Outside on the smoker’s veranda, he sat down next to a thirtysomething brunette with pretty brown eyes, a warm smile, and huge breasts practically spilling out of her dress, a quality shared by 90 percent of the women in the building. The people partying at Vee Lounge were, if not particularly stunning, mostly attractive or at least well dressed — I saw a lot of sports coats and plenty of ties, and, by and large, dresses were tight and small. At one point, while I was waiting for a drink at the bar, this chick next to me dropped her phone on the floor. She was sitting in a barstool, and I could tell that, to retrieve the phone herself, she’d have to get down off the chair, a process that would’ve probably caused a major wardrobe malfunction.
“Um, would you mind getting that?” she asked me. I obliged, mentally commenting that it’s one thing to wear something provocative, but it’s quite another to literally show your ass.
As I waited at the bar, the dance floor crowded in anticipation of headlining DJ Havana Brown, a lithe blonde in tight leather pants and matching top, both dyed a shade of pink I’d guess was created to perfectly offset the tan midriffs of lithe blondes fond of leather pants. I’d posted up by the register and bided my time until I could catch the eye of one of the three brunette bartenders. The one who made eye contact barely had enough time to raise her eyebrows at me. I leaned over and shouted my order as politely as I could, and she quickly produced two drinks and opened a tab for me before dashing off to attend to the throngs on both sides of her station.
My date and I took the stairs on the far side of the club to a VIP loft area furnished with a bar and two sectional couches, and we leaned along the rail that overlooked the room. To my left, a different sixtysomething man in a sport coat (no sunglasses) fist-pumped along with the music. Beyond him sat the tall dude who’d arrived in the limo, alone and hunched over his knees on a couch against the wall, disinterestedly poking at his smart phone. To our right, a party sitting on the couch shouted conversation over a bowl of melting ice and some liquor bottles. My date asked a woman in a short dress if she knew the tall guy. “Oh, this is just our crew,” said the woman, gesturing at a couple of bald dudes sitting opposite her.
Puzzled at the woman’s response, my date shrugged her shoulders as we walked down the stairs. “She didn’t know either,” she said.
“I don’t think he’s anybody, really,” I said.
Then we went to The Gold Standard, where I knew I could address the bartenders by name. –– Steve Steward
500 Taylor St, FW.
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