By Ray Stern
By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
It's tighter than Cedric the Entertainer's Speedo in here, and needless to say, we've lost the Wicker girl. But that's okay, because we bump into e4 CEO Aron Mezo, the dude responsible for putting it all together. And as Mezo's the boss, he draws fly bitches like kittens to a satchel of catnip. Doesn't hurt that the baller has his own modeling agency from which he draws much of his Maxim-worthy female staff.
"Each of the rooms can stand on its own," Mezo tells us, his arm around a beauty named Janice, who just walked up to him. "Originally, I came up with the concept of liquid and moving water. But then, I thought, what if we did it based on the elements where water was one room and each of the other rooms was one of the elements? It would embody the essence of those elements with materials, mood, music, ambiance, energy and lighting. After that, it became a labor of love to bring it all to life."
Mezo explains that there's something different going on each night of the week, and that aside from the nightclub aspect to the place, there's dining and live entertainment in the loungy earth room during the middle evening, and the air patio is where happy hour goes down. He offers to show us the VIP area adjacent to the fire room, and we take him up on it. In the back of the liquid room is a door leading to a secret elevator. On the way over to it, Mezo points out the small waterbeds next to the lava lamps, and Janice spreads out on one for a pic.
Up in the VIP lounge, it's dark and reddish throughout, and we can hear DJ Tranzl8r droppin' hip-hop over in the fire room, which looks like some medieval torture chamber, with a large bar, faux rock-lined walls and a cast-iron chandelier. In a room off to the side is a circular, hanging bed that's been pulled up tonight because there's a private party in there. The VIP vibe is sexy and exclusive, with direct access from the elevator, which downstairs opens onto the street. If you can't get in via the elevator, it's the line outside for you -- a line that eventually spills downstairs into "earth" with its funky, Bellagio-like light fixtures.
I'm usually a man of the people, but I have to say, the VIP lounge is where it's at, and it gets better as the evening progresses, with supermodel-like babes spilling forth from the elevator, trying not to spill their Ketel One martinis on each other. At least while we're up in there, it's a good 70-30 female-to-male split, which means we gents get to watch as the chicklettes end up dancing with one another.
I turn Jett loose to caress her fellow femmes, while I chat with this cat named Amir, who tells me he works for Infiniti of Scottsdale, and says they just sold a vehicle to the former vice president.
"Al Gore?" I ask.
"No, the one who misspelled 'potato,' whatshisname?"
"Oh, Dan Quayle," I say. "What was he like, all button-down?"
"No, very casual. A nice guy. I didn't even know who he was at first," Amir tells me.
"So what do you like about e4?"
"I like the VIP, the fact that it's laid-back, but exclusive," he says. "Not everybody can get in here. Just the high rollers."
I'm still marveling that a car salesman can qualify as a VIP, when I spy a fella who has a Sammy Hagar-Bruce Vilanch thing goin' on with them long curly dirty-blond locks. His name's Ron, and he says he's part owner of the restaurants Stingray and Drift. He chimes in, agreeing with Amir's sentiment.
"I like that it's small," states the Ronster. "They've kept the VIP area VIP. At other clubs, the VIP's turned into whoever can finagle their way in. But that doesn't work. Because if you wanna buy a bottle, you want to have an actual table."
I'm about to make some point to Ron when Jett knocks into me, then pulls me aside: "Eat your heart out, Kreme. I just had sex in the bathroom with a girl. That hottie over there," she points out.
"Jeez, what did that take, like five minutes? Anyway, I'll do you one better. I had sex last night in a bathroom with a man," I tell her.
"I can't believe it!" she yelps, hitting me. "So what's his name?"
"Well," I pause, "Kreme, of course."