There's something I've never been able to understand about Gaslamp clubs-why enforce a stuffy dress code when patrons have come to dance? Have you ever tried to shake your ass in a fitted Armani?
And please spare me the elitist "We're trying to keep out the P.B. crowd" excuse I recently heard from the management of one downtown hotspot. While not winning any fashion awards, the bros in Pacific Beach probably appreciate dance music more than the vapid investment bankers dressed in Prada.
That said, I've got to give some serious credit to the Gaslamp clubs that are shaking things up by not enforcing a dress code. Static Lounge (634 Broadway), for example, just started a new 18-and-older gay club night (with a 21-and-older bar) on Sundays called Undressed Sundaze-the only dress code comes in the form of a weekly "sexy boxers" contest. With the DJs from Fundamental at the decks, the late-teen gay crowd finally gets a place downtown to call its very own.
On Feb. 20, Bar Basic (410 Tenth Ave.) will kick off a new weekly dress-code-free event called Basic Tuesdays. DJs Schugar and Jesse LaDue will spin minimal-tech and electro-house, and art by Fresh Ginga will provide the ambiance. Basic will donate a portion of its proceeds each week to a new charity.
I'm even going to give an honorable mention to Stingaree (454 Sixth Ave.). Before you think you're reading a copy of 944 magazine, allow me to explain. On Feb. 16 the club has booked Switch, one of the synthiest "filthy house" mixers in the game (as well as electronic hip-hop DJ Stretch Armstrong). Stingaree has confirmed that-for the first time ever and for this event only-it will relax the dress code so that the real house-junkie revelers in this city can take over the dance floor.
It's a start.