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Friday, April 06, 2007

Review: Crash Club -- San Francisco

It was bound to happen.

I've had such wonderful experiences at San Francisco bars and clubs that they all couldn't be great. Sure, some have always been better than others, but I've never been to one that I'd call "bad."

Enter Crash at 34 Mason, San Francisco, CA.

I was invited to be on the VIP List for a special night they were having to have tryouts for the show "American Stripper," some new reality show that will detail the rise of a stripper to become...I have no idea.

I arrived to be told rudely by a bouncer who seemed to think that he worked somewhere that didn't suck that there was no VIP list and that'll be $15 to get in. Okay. I'm here, there's no line, so I'm not going to let a cover charge kill my night.

I walk in to a floor that is completely empty and I think the place is completely dead. I am then yelled at and told that all the action is on the 2nd and 3rd floor. As I go through the night I learn that getting yelled at by a bouncer is pretty much the order of the evening.

I go up to the 2nd floor and start to lighten up. The room isn't that big but there are plenty of people, but not packed, and the music is good. I try to put my jacket down on a chair but was told that it was against the rules and that I'd have to use the coat check. Where's the coat check? On the basement floor. So, I need to go down two flights to check my coat.

I go back up and I walk over to the bar and wait my turn to get a drink.

Then I realize, that no one is really ordering drinks and that I can order one. Except the 3 bartenders all have their backs to me. I wait about 5 minutes and see one turn around and walk up to one of the girls that are working there. He then walks over to me and let's me know that he's no longer on the clock.

Once a bartender takes my order, he does a short count on the pour for my vodka-tonic then charges me $9 for the drink in a disposable glass. Apparently, they too much volume to give people real glasses, yet I barely saw 10 drinks sitting on the bar.

The bar has poles at both ends and at this point some dancers got on them. To the club's credit, they were very good and had some great bodies.

I decided to get excited about the great music that the DJ was playing and get out on the dance floor. There were a few hired dancers out there as well and they did good work of keeping it going.

Unfortunately, the floor was so unbelievably sticky that I wasn't entirely sure that I wouldn't just come out of my shoes as they stuck in place. Next to the floor were two small, white couches that were roped off in a sad attempt at a VIP area. Someone was passed out on one of the couches.

I then decided to try to go the 3rd floor where the auditions were taking place, but was yelled at that I couldn't go in there without a special wristband. So, I decided to leave.

As I walk downstairs to the coat check, I'm yelled at and told that the first floor is closed. I tell them that I need to get my coat and am allowed to pass.

When I get in to the coat check, I see that the coat check girl had been chain smoking all night, giving my suede coat an excellent stench that I wasn't really planning on it having.

As I try to leave via the first floor, I am told once again that the area is closed. I say that I want to leave and am reluctantly allowed to pass.

I'd also like to offer my thanks to Bourbon and Branch for once again making sure my night did not end up in a pile of ash.

The only thing left to wonder about Crash is what they will name the next club that is soon to replace it.

Crash Nightclub - 34 Mason, San Francisco, CA

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