If someone comes in from out of town and you want to impress
him with what a St Louis Metro East night club should be about, you can't
go wrong taking him to Platinum Club in Brooklyn, Illinois. That is what
I thought about while I was sitting at the downstairs bar as I studied
the room around me looking for the right words to describe what sets this
club off from the others.
The Platinum Club is one of the few clubs in the Metro East that has two levels. It also pulls off the illusion of having an interior that is circular in shape. It's four sided bar is right in the middle of the room. It dominates with three stages and tables and chairs out on the periphery. Everything revolves around this bar where customers can sit or stand at any one of its four sides yet not miss seeing at least one stage where a pretty girl is performing. Casting my eyes upwards I begin to study the balcony high above me traversing all four sides. Straight ahead of me is the VIP room which has its own bar. It's glassed in with large plates of glass through which customers upstairs can look downwards on the large bar I'm sitting at and the dancers performing below them. Up there are lights everywhere--- blue, white, and yellow lights combined to give it a very tasteful Christmas tree effect.-not unlike the Sun Valley, Idaho's ski resort's fairy tale land of lights contrasting sharply with the snow below.
I had told the doorman who I was who immediately summoned another employee of the club to usher me upstairs into the manager's office. A shapely dancer stood close to where the doorman was sitting. She was about to pat my whole body down for weapons when the man waved her off. Feeling good that they trusted me there I was escorted across the room to a staircase that took us upstairs just to the left of the DJ stand to the manager's office just behind it. The man knocked on the manager's office, then walked away. Bill smiled at me when I came in, then told me that I should join Frank, the club's general manager, in the VIP room.
Finding Frank with a small group at the VIP room's bar, I mentioned why I wanted to talk with him. "Jim, the owner's going to be here from Scottsdale, Arizona in a few minutes. Why don't you just hang out here and he'll be up here later on," Frank told me.
I had just gotten a beer from the bartender when I heard someone say: "You have to be Jack Corbett. I'm Carpe Diem. Remember me?" Did I? Carpe Diem had backed me up in his posts in an Internet news group called the ASSC (Alternate Sexual Strip Clubs) a few months before when someone made the mistake of attacking me. I had cut the person to shreds with my rebuttal and Carpe Diem and a few other guys finished the job.
I owed it all to that hat that makes me recognizable to people from all over the United States who have seen my pictures on my web site at alphapro.com. Carpe Diem had sent me a couple e-mails after the ASSC incident, and here we were meeting for the first time, face to face. That's the thing about the St Louis Metro East strip clubs. You never know who you are going to meet or how the night's going to turn out.
Carpe Diem's from out of town and wants to hit a few more places. We talk about a few other clubs and girls I know who he's heard about, then he leaves. By this time I'm starving so I head downstairs and go to the little window where a woman is taking food orders which she then cooks. I order the chicken strips which are only around four bucks or so, then go to the bar to get another beer. A few minutes later the woman brings my food to me at the bar.
By this time Jim and Frank have come out of the office and I find them in the Vip room. Jim is a tall distinguished looking man in his fifties with a ready hand shake. I had met him a few times at Platinum and another club he had owned and we had run into each other a few times through the years at the Exotic Dancer's Gentlemens Owners Club convention in Las Vegas. We discussed my doing a few photos hoots at the club and left it at my working out the details with Frank. Then I heard someone calling out my name from the bar.
Another friendly face. This time it was Curtis, who had managed Visions before it came under its present ownership. Then it was called Platinum Paradise Show Club and I had been going in there both to drink and to shoot pictures. I had always liked him. We had confided in each other on a variety of subjects and Curtis had always been quite the kidder. Not having seen each other for a year we had much to discuss but not much time since he was going out with Frank, Jim and a few others.
But I had to say hi to Ron, the DJ. A big man, Ron has this voice most DJ's would kill for. For that matter so does Butch who was not working that night. Once in awhile I had run into him in other clubs but I have one memory of him I will never forget. That was when I used to visit Lori Mellon, who became the main female character for "Death on the Wild Side" and when Charlie, now a manager at Visions, had been our waitress at Platinum. A guy had stolen our table and was drinking our drink and it was one of those drinks that has around six shots of alcohol in it. We told the guy to leave and it was our bad luck that the guy was about the biggest and meanest man in the place but neither Lori nor I were about to back down. Suddenly Ron appeared with another large man just as the guy came after us. The two got right between us and took the big guy right out of the picture. But it had turned out to be a great night after all since Lori and I did the hot tub and the manager had just told the girls they could stay in the hot tub as long as they wanted so long as no one else was wanting to use it. We must have spent two hours in that hot tub and I had paid both her and the club for only a half hour. They kept calling her up to the stage when her turn came up. Other dancers kept offering to take her turn (and the money she would have gotten in tips) and she kept waving them up on the stage.
Speaking of which-------I had to check out the club's hot tub..not that I was planning on using it. It's just that it was the scene for many memories. In this club, all with Lori. The hot tub's across the room on the other side of the balcony. Located in a large compartment the whole setup at first seemed to be lacking a privacy curtain. Years before I had done a couple hot tubs with Lori when it was downstairs. After the club moved it upstairs Lori and I had been out driving around--- then we decided to go back there to relive the great memories from the past. I remember carrying her all around the room, then setting her up on the bar. Earlier we had gone into a Quick Shop and I had carried her to the checkout counter in my arms.
Inside the hot tub compartment are two little wooden tables on either side of the hot tub with little candle like lamps, each one giving off just the right amount of light. And who cares whether it has curtains or not. One wants the view and you can't have that through curtains. Anyone sitting in the hot tub can see the room below or at least parts of it, then gaze across at the VIP room with its dazzling multi colored array of lights. If you are going to do a hot tub this is the place to do it. The whole setting is so spectacular and so romantic you might just fall in love. But you will be falling in love with what approaches perfection--a scene that will so immerse you that you will think it's all the girl's doing.
With people to meet it was time to leave.. The doormen, the managers, and even the woman who had served me my food, had treated me like a welcome guest. And although two old friends, Butch and Bake were not working tonight, I had run into Jim, Frank, Curtis, and Ron. And for the first time I had met Carpe Diem who had once posted in the ASSC news group..."When I grow up I want to be just like Jack." Which is a helluva thing for a man in his thirties to post for the whole world to read. But then again, I'm a lot older than him and I'm still trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up.
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