I've never quite understood Scotch whiskey, which probably shows my lack of experience (and adventure). Jameson, Maker's Mark — I'm all over that stuff, but try to pour me some Macallan, and I'll think it's the booze version of sweetbreads or something. And somehow, I just got in my head that you have to be over fifty to drink Scotch. Yeah, it's silly, but still, I rarely see people under fifty order it.
At least not in the places I frequent. But last week I was in the Pearl Martini Lounge, which is the upstairs level of India's Pearl (1475 South Pearl Street), and right across from me were all these bottles of Scotch: ten-, twelve- and eighteen-year-old bottles of Macallan, a twelve-year-old bottle of Glenlivet, a sixteen-year-old bottle of Lagavulin and a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue, which I found out later can run about $200.
It was all staring at me while I was drinking an IPA draft, and I was staring right back at the stuff. The Johnnie Walker Blue looked extra-special, because it was sitting in this box lined with white silk, like it was sitting in a tiny coffin. Right next to the Blue was its brother Johnnie Red, which instantly brought back some pre-massage parlor debauchery in Bangkok when a college buddy, his friend and I polished off a bottle of Red. I'll skip the massage parlor details here, but I did once tell the story at a wedding while sitting at a table full of strangers, one of whom was a dominatrix.
Anyway, I stayed with the beer, but the Scotch was tempting as hell. And so was the Pearl Martini Lounge, a pretty swanky place that brings in decent entertainment on the weekends: belly dancing on Fridays and Saturdays, followed by live jazz from 8 to 11 p.m. The lounge also hosts karaoke on Wednesdays and an open mike on Thursdays.
Club scout: As reported here two weeks ago, Wicked Garden (1403 Larimer Street) has moved away from the rock-club concept it touted when it opened last fall in favor of becoming more of a dance club. It had its grand reopening last weekend (it had been closed for several weeks for a liquor-license violation), when it also kicked off its Friday feature, Night of Bad Decisions. On Tuesdays, the club will bring electro-indie house DJs, and it will schedule different events every Saturday.
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As part of its House Saturdays, Bar Standard (1037 Broadway) will feature a live house band on March 28: DJ Elitt, Miss Audry on decks and vocals, MC Ben Michaels, violinist David Lyon and saxophonist Matt Pitts. Wish Nightclub (511 West Colfax Avenue) recently introduced Cross Over Fridays, with $4 you-call-its from 9 to 10 p.m., topless female and male dancers, naked sushi, body painting and adult-toy expos; DJs Walt White, Angie Castro, Bryan Matthew and Kobe are on the decks. Wish has also launched a new ladies' night on Wednesdays, when gals drink free from 9 to 11 p.m. and you get a free bottle of champagne if you bring at least nine people with you to the club.