Social Mixology’s annual party celebrates the end of the Noble Experiment

Out of the bathtub … into the lift. Christian Oldan mixes Stoli Elit and Dolin dry martinis at the VIP Elevator Bar at Cathouse.
Te Ann Lakeotas
Molly O'Donnell

The floor of the Luxor is a bit of a ghost town, even for a Sunday night, and those who are walking around look a bit out of place in the casino. In contrast to the usual attire of stiletto heels and silk ties, these patrons are wrapped in crinkly Jiffy Pop-style thermal blankets. The Strip outside is also bizarrely desolate, devoid of its usual bumper-to-bumper traffic.

But blocks away the endless congestion explains it all. Today is Las Vegas’ first nighttime marathon, but for the few red-clad, dapper partygoers, the stroke of midnight on December 5 means only one thing: Repeal Day.

The Social Mixology cocktail society is hosting its 4th annual Repeal Day soiree in the Luxor’s Cathouse Boutique Nightclub, with or without the traffic, cold or marathon runners. While some might argue that the prohibition of alcohol couldn’t have lasted long, the Jazz Age experiment made having a cocktail illegal for 13 long years. As party organizer Tobin Ellis rightly points out, “Repeal Day is the day that made Las Vegas what it is today.”

Although you wouldn’t get many objections to this from the well-dressed attendees, this cocktail-focused gathering comes with a few rules: Whether you’re flapper chic or not, you must have a touch of red. For many of the men, this means nothing more than a single, classic red rose tucked into the lapel of their jackets, and for one tall blond gentleman in a light suit and colorful tie, the rose was anything but voluntary. As it turns out his last name is Redd, and he was sporting the name tag to prove it. But the vixens pouring punch at the door wouldn’t take no for an answer, so Mr. Redd donned the blossom like so many of the other swanky repealists. Enjoying a blend of citrus-infused spirits dubbed The Lion’s Whisker alongside his adorable lady friend, Redd says he joined Social Mixology because “the events are unique and get you out of your routine in an inspiring way.”

Fittingly, these dancers were upstaged at the Repeal Day bash by one thing: the bar.

Fittingly, these dancers were upstaged at the Repeal Day bash by one thing: the bar.

Inspiring is one way to put it. The first thing you see when you get off the martini bar elevator is a lingerie-clad girl lounging on a chaise. There are also dancing girls galore once you enter the second-floor lounge. However, the dancers are upstaged by the main attraction: the bar. One can’t help but notice how appropriate Cathouse’s décor is for this event. Plush sofas line walls covered in black and white Victorian patterned wallpaper, and glass chandeliers sparkle overhead, illuminating framed prints of old-timey pinups.

As sexy as the place seems, a server named Michael in red suspenders and a fedora explains that the Repeal Day partygoers aren’t necessarily the lounge’s average clientele.

“Usually people don’t go this far to get that classic look,” he beams, “so I’ve been looking forward to this event all week.”

We’ll have to wait a year to see what Social Mixology comes up with for next December 5. Based on this past Sunday night, there are likely more than a few cocktail enthusiasts already looking forward to it.


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