By Isa Jones
By Mary Willson
By Brian Turk
By Drew AIles
By Taylor Boylston
By Bree Davies
By Emerald O'Brien
The crusader against ladies’ nights needs to know about Guys’ Night, also known as Hot & Wild Wednesdays, at the Purple Martini in the Denver Tech Center, which comes complete with go-go dancers, a mostly female staff and, yes, drink specials — for men.
“The idea was inspired by the local man who was determined to sue all Denver bars for having ladies’ nights and discriminating against men,” sales/marketing director Kama Winter tells me. “Well, we love everyone equally, and decided it was time to have a night just for our men.”
But isn’t, like, every bar night already a night for men? Truth is, even ladies’ nights are really just socially acceptable ways to bring women in for the ogling pleasure of drunken men. Not that Club Scout is complaining. Gender studies and objectification of women be damned, I like free drinks.
Except tonight I won’t be getting any, because it’s dudes’ night at the Purple Martini, and my womanly assets are my woeful disadvantage. Instead, my friend Brent is here to reap the benefits of his manliness — except that when he asks the bartender for the drink specials, he’s politely told that there are none.
I glance around and see a giant flashing digital projection, with this partially obscured message behind a go-go dancer’s ass: “Hot & Wild Wednesdays. Drink specials for men.” I point it out to the bartender, who nods and replies, “Oh, yeah, we have $5 Hulk drinks.” That’s Hennessy and Hpnotiq, for the uninitiated.
Brent orders a six-dollar beer.
The “specials” may be lacking, but the skinny, corseted women shaking their stuff on tiny elevated stages is pretty entertaining. The club holds “open auditions” every Wednesday for new dancers; if you think you can shimmy, you’re welcome to try. Unfortunately, no one steps up this night.
Still, this Purple Martini is a neon beacon of nightlife in an otherwise dimly lit concrete-and-asphalt suburban shopping center at 8000 East Belleview Avenue in Greenwood Village. It’s spacious and almost too clean, with semi-private bottle service mini-lounges on one side and a wide-open floor in the middle filled with tall cocktail tables; in other words, it’s suited to the Denver Tech Center with a big fat T. There are two other Purple Martinis, each featuring a twist that works in their specific locations — the Tabor Center (which replaced the original downtown location on 15th Street), and Boulder, where a Hot & Wild Wednesday would do nothing more than get a club in hot water.
But the DTC is Patrick Bateman territory. The clientele is particularly sharp-dressed, with men in pressed button-ups and women squeezed into their finest high-class clubland wear. I feel like I’m in the yuppie ’80s. I suddenly picture everyone in power ties, eating sushi and talking real estate.
The music videos on the flat screens also seem stuck in their own strange time warp. In a ten-minute span, I spot Paula Abdul, the Backstreet Boys and a crop of other mid-’90s pop-music darlings. Thankfully, the videos are muted and the house music is offered up by DJ Mear, whose booth is directly behind one of the go-go platforms. It’s basic, beat-thumping electronica with a few clever mash-ups tossed in. I’m not usually a fan of guitar rock getting sliced and diced by DJs, but I have to admit that her mix of the Clash over Madonna is just a little bit brilliant.
“We started Guys’ Night about three months ago,” Winter notes, “and it’s become one of our most popular nights.”
Just as popular, if not more so, than this Martini’s ladies’ night on Thursdays.
Oops. Better not tell Horner that part.