You know what Friday night needed? Someone to spin Haddaway’s “What is Love?” Steve and Doug Butabi, those delightfully awkward brothers from A Night at the Roxbury, would have been a perfect addition to the opening of Late Night Embassy Passport at Club LED.
Housed inside Russian restaurant Matryoshka (behind Bootlegger Bistro on Las Vegas Blvd.), the space might seem an odd choice for a late-night club transformation. Kicking off at 11 p.m., the restaurant became a dance club… sort of. With high ceilings and walls lined with rows of giant circular half-moon LED bubble lights, a nightlife experience can be pulled off in the space and the afterhours party will kick off soon. Yet there’s a retro vibe at the new venue. Reminiscent of a dance hall, Euro nightclub, or discotek, we’re not sure if the feeling of 1993 was intentional, but it mostly works.
As far as the music and crowd, Friday hit a few snags. During the transition phase from restaurant to nightlife, a wedding reception was still dining when the party kicked off. But with friendly staff—nicest doorman ever!—and an open bar for the first hour, we were able to quickly ignore the poor track selection of the opening DJ, who’s name we promptly forgot.
Though Xania may have declared last week that flair bartending has likely run its course in Vegas, Club LED apparently didn’t get the memo. Given bartender Alexei’s charming indiscernible accent (let’s go with Russian, considering the restaurant’s cuisine, and we're pretty sure that was his name), we’ll wait a few more minutes for our damned drink and let him flip bottles and have the other bartender climb on his shoulders to pour cocktails.
From what we can remember, the music got better. Promoter Tonya Bosman promises when Club LED irons out the kinks we can expect to hear some of the best Detroit house DJs and Vegas favorites commanding the tables. On that note, we’ll just pretend the hip-hop format Saturday night didn’t happen and check back with LED in a few weeks to see how things are progressing. It can’t hurt to have no cover charge, free hookah smoking at the bar, drink specials and bottle service under $100, can it?