April 13, 2010 at 1:53pm
TACOMA'S NEW CHILL >>
In the summer of 2008 Club Kokonut let Tacoma know that it was moving into the space once occupied by the gay bar On the Rocks at Seventh and Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma. It hung its liquor license, drapes, and then went to work applying a clean shine where once drag queens strutted their stuff.
Then last fall, on the verge of opening, Club Kokonut went silent.
Last month the lights flickered back on. The Oompa-Loompas (can't verify this fact) began secretly applying the final touches to the nearly completed club. The scene was almost surreal.
Yesterday, Bandito Betty and I received a tour of the new club - which is now titled Surreal Ultra Lounge - and schedule to open Friday, April 30.
What the heck is an "ultra lounge" you might ask? It's a lounge where every guest receives a kiss on the cheek along with a welcoming smile. Where a DJ spins upbeat, lounge-type music that you can nod your head along with and not feel as though you're going to have an aneurism. (Read: no house music.) Where you can find tons of couches, plush chairs, and privacy to converse. Oh, and when I say "converse," I mean it. The music is audible, but not so loud you're screaming to talk. Everyone's a VIP, and treated as though.
As Bandito Betty and I entered the Surreal space, we were amazed at how decadent, yet cozy the place looked. Every corner we turned held new and embracing warmth. The floors were glitter, and drapes hung from the immensely tall ceilings. In the back room, it was as though we walked into a Palm Springs cabana with palm trees and plenty of comfortable seating. Upstairs we found art-filled walls created by local artist C. Pulley. We also saw more relaxing couches, custom pool tables, and a large television hosting Wii games.
Victor Canjie, an imported San Franciscan chef, has created Surreal's intriguing menu with price points averaging in the $8 to $9 range. Think: slider bar - with recipes from New Jersey, Hawaii and your mom. (Just kidding about your mom; she wouldn't share her slider recipe anyhow.) One source tells me Chef Victor might add foie gras to the mix, so stay tuned.
Surreal Ultra Lounge will be open for lunch Monday through Saturday at 11 a.m., closing at 2 a.m. for those who like to hang out late. (Their Facebook page states it opens at 5 p.m. Saturday, so the ownership might have changed their minds today.) Employees tell me there will be no baggy pants allowed, but come dressed for the night. This means that clean blue jeans are OK, and high heels are not mandatory.
[Surreal Ultra Lounge, 728 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, 253.722.5489]
Off duty rules.
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