Doing hard labor

They don’t call it Labor Day weekend for nothing

Rok nightclub
Denise Truscello

Saturday, August 30, 6:30 a.m.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaack! OhsweetJesusohmyGod. Ugh.” I honestly haven’t thrown up from anything that wasn’t germ-related in a long, long time. But it’s Saturday morning and I’m mid-Labor. (No, not like that.) Mid-Labor Day weekend.

Paris Hilton and chef Back at the grand opening of Yellowtail Sushi.

Paris Hilton and chef Back at the grand opening of Yellowtail Sushi.

And here, getting down with my toilet as I am, I think I’ve come as far as I’m going to go. I binged on all the Labor Day weekend festivities that Thursday, Friday and early Saturday morning had to offer. Now, lying on my bathmat, awaiting the next wave of ick, I find myself with time on my hands, time to reflect on my evening and wonder where it all went wrong.

Friday, August 29, 10 p.m.

I arrive at the Yellowtail grand opening just ahead of the Hilton sisters, amid a chorus of cheers and jeers—for them, not me. Hemmed in on all sides by giggling girls in clingy, crotch-skimming dresses, I chortle, “These girls are gonna get shoe-throwing drunk tonight!” oblivious to the foreshadowing. Not too far away, a collagen-plumped blonde relieves a server of his entire platter of sushi and scarfs it. Realizing that we’re not going to be able to wrestle any hors d’oeuvres away from her, we steal over to Fix for mac & cheese and donuts.

Primed and ready to rock—er, Rok—we book it at 1 a.m. to New York-New York for Rok Vegas’ grand opening weekend, narrowly avoiding the scary foreign men who mistake us for under-dressed hookers. Hrmmm, for a club called Rok, I’m a little peeved to be greeted by house music followed by a whole lot of hip-hop. Luckily, I’m in lust with other aspects of the club; I can overlook our differences in music choices.

Rok Vegas @ New York New York


Club Guide
Rok Vegas

The high entrance, modeled after Rok Miami, hints at the soaring main room ceiling, industrial chic thanks to plenty of exposed piping. Lipstick red walls and black snakeskin-embossed leather booths in tiered nooks ring the small, rectangular room. Behind the main bar, pointed out GM/partner Ethan Asch during my tour earlier in the week, are Rok’s signature residents: three lenticular black and white portraits of ladies made up like rock royalty Billy Idol, Sid Vicious and Pat Benetar.

High above the dance floor and main bar, a 360-degree oval screen flashes with crystal-clear images of custom cars, spinning rims, skulls, flames, flowing lava—it’s like the best screensaver ever. VIP tables flank the DJ booth as well as the stage, which can serve out its performance purpose with the removal of the railing and the stowing of some modular seating. Rok may soon incorporate live music further into its lineup but for now, this is a nightclub with a kickin’ stage, not the other way around. And it sounds like the music will bend towards popular opinion, no matter what the club’s name.

Approaching the wee hours, Rok’s DJs throw us a mash-up marathon racing from Michael Jackson to Kiss to Fall Out Boy, Outkast, and the Presidents of the United States of America, then back to Twisted Sister and the Go-Gos. And then, almost jokingly, Chubby Checker. Drinks fly off the center dance floor’s go-go box so a couple can hump properly and somewhere between a “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” and Shop Boyz’ “Party Like a Rock Star” I break for the exit. I may heart Rok Vegas but I hate Labor Day. “It’s too much work!” I say, blowing kisses to security, reemerging on the casino floor. The remains of the day bring us to Lavo at Palazzo, which we close and then to Noir Bar for Ken Hall’s dessert-inspired cocktails.

“OhsweetJesusohmygod. Aaaaaaaaaaaaack! Ugh.” Decadence, thy name is peanut butter and jelly martini. “And you, Labor Day Weekend,” I curse the morning light from my bathmat. “I’m not through with you yet. Till next year!”


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