Super Suede, the term, carries many connotations. Something that’s Super! Maybe something that’s phony. In the case of Suede Bar & Lounge I meant—neither. I just like the fact that it rhymes so I used it as a title. Suede Bar & Lounge located at 404 S. Figueroa St. is really on Flower but because it is located in the Bonaventure Hotel the address is confusing, especially since on the Saturday night I cruised in I had been sampling Champagne at Ralphs—four glasses.
Where was my hot young girlfriend on a Saturday night you might be asking yourself? Spring Break, I’ve mentioned she’s on the young side, but before there were cougars there were…Anyway, I digress, sorry. So I stood in front of the Skyline contemplating the rest of the evening, pent up energy a-plenty. I lighted the good cigar in my hand and embarked on an evening walk. A lucky young couple that strolled along side me benefited from my genial, tipsy, disposition as I imbued my extensive knowledge of the neighborhood upon them. At Wockano I bid them adieu.
The sign for Remedy caught my eye… “A new place to drink I thought to myself.” The idea of a new place to drink caught fire in my mind. I made a mental note on Remedy and proceeded to Suede. I’d heard about it for months and had been meaning to check it out but it just hadn’t happened. Downtown = so many good places to drink and so little time. And a few minutes later I was standing on the patio outside of Suede smoking my stogie and conversing with Esteban who besides being one of the doormen at Suede happens to also be a tax auditor. Hey, there’s a recession on.
Then came the disappointment of the night…My cigar was done and I had forgotten to bring an extra along. But making the best of the situation I cruised with Oscar inside to the bar. Oscar Macias is the GM and all around cool club guy. No Hollywood attitude at Suede…starting at the top. I ordered a Jack and Diet or two while Oscar filled me in on Suede…Funny enough the owner, Richard, went to Garfield High, a couple of miles away from my own alma mater Montebello High; more on that later because at this point of our blog I hadn’t met Richard yet.
Suede Bar & Lounge is not large. I’d say 150 people is close to swinging from the rafters time. It has a lot of table seating, club style, and on this particular night the tables were pretty much taken up by a couple of birthday parties. The music early on was ambient but as the night progressed made it’s way to a reasonable dance mix. Way back when, I owned the number two-rated club in the world (second only to Ministry of Sound) so I’m hard to please when it comes to sound and DJ’s. The sound at Suede could be a lot better but, again, I’m a snob.
The crowd by 11:00 or so had filled the place. I don’t know if it’s PC to say this, but it was a predominantly well-dressed Latin crowd. I’m sure depending on what’s going on at the hotel there can be an influx of all kinds of people but I’m guessing that the busy nights skew Latin. Standing in the middle of things, as I like to do, I found my body swaying a bit to this song and that. I eyed a few of the cute girls around me and there were a few. This was not a babe fest, yet I was finding the selection adequate…Probably not PC to say either.
Anyway, the promise I made to be faithful to my girlfriend while she was away floated around my head and made me feel guilty for some of the thoughts Jack Daniels and myself were beginning to entertain. I made a mental note to call Oscar and reserve a table one of these nights, girlfriend in tow—there’s some fun to be had at Suede. I chatted with Oscar and Richard, who had arrived by this time, for a few minutes before leaving. “Hey you’re not leaving,” said the very attractive girl leaning over the rail that separates the patio from the street.
“Yeah, I have some writing to do tomorrow.” Translation: My girlfriend is coming home tomorrow and I’ve managed to make it a whole week without doing anything that I’ll be feeling guilty about.
“You should stay and buy me a drink.” Her hand came to rest on my arm as she said this.
Let me add here that she was probably Colombian, around 25-years-old, long dark hair, and legs / butt extraordinaire.
“If we have drinks here are we going to wind up back at my place doing shots?” I asked.
She smiled. “Direct, I like that…Where do you live?”
“9th and Flower—four blocks down.” I pointed south.
“It’s a definite possibility…”
“Yeah, that’s what I was afraid of,” I sighed more than annunciated.
“You don’t strike me as the afraid type.” Her hand slid down to mine.
“I have a girlfriend.”
“And she’s letting a guy like you run around on a Saturday night? Maybe it’s time for a new girlfriend?”
“Are you volunteering?” I questioned—suggestively.
“Would you buy a car before the test drive?” she retorted in kind.
We both laughed. I pulled my arm from her grasp.
“I’ve got to go,” I said, still smiling as I walked off.
I don’t know whether I was more pleased with Suede or myself at this point. It’s a tough city to do business in and an even tougher city to have a relationship…And she wasn’t completely wrong…Why was I wandering around on a Saturday night by myself? It was an interesting thought. But not a happy thought so I put it out of my mind and just enjoyed the walk home.