(Los Angeles – Saturday, October 25, 2008) The long lines for admittance into the newest of Downtown LA’s nightclubs snaked in both directions on the sidewalk of Spring Street. The Grand Opening of Versus has been a long awaited event for many of Los Angeles upscale partiers. The event bragged an evening filled with the young and the beautiful and, despite the shortage of celebrity sightings, did deliver on that promise.
Formerly known to many of us as the Stock Exchange (or The Exchange), Versus is an elegant night spot converted from what was once a bank. Long marble walls and stairways give the locale a refinement that illuminates even in its dimmer corners.
The main dance floor was vast for a club, ready and able to host hundreds of partiers once the groove, and alcohol hit them. A second floor balcony circled the perimeter of the club, providing a bird’s eye view of the entire experience.
Leather stools lined the perimeter of the dance floor while reserved areas against the walls were outfitted with a gift bag, the virgin bottle of Patron, one of the event’s sponsors and a single white orchid. A huge performance stage was housed on the far end of the floor, silent guitars and drum set awaiting musicians who would perform later in the evening. As designated drinking, I can not attest to the drink. However, my plus one had a Cosmo so big she had to hold it with both hands, and she smiled a lot as she sipped, so I’m thinking that was a nod to the bartender.
Ironically, the best thing about the event was the biggest downer. An energetic army of barbacks incessantly circled the club, swooping in on any discarded napkin, and every finished drink. Security loomed everywhere, stoic and menacing. While the attention to cleanliness was impressive and the need for a firm “authority presence” is necessary for any event with so many people and the use of alcohol, it made the event a bit sterile. It took a while for people to start letting their hair down.
Enter DJ Valida just in the knick of time. Her awesome set spinning the ones & twos came following the first live rock performance. I was impressed with the breadth of her selections. She visited pop, hip-hop, dance, and several classics ( Crystal Waters), with just enough sample, just enough scratch. She really got the party started. Scheduled to appear later in the evening were sets by DJ Skribble, Slynkee and a live performance by rock guitarist Dave Navarro.
Versus sits posed to feature live performances as well as the best of the country’s DJ talent on a regular basis. Halloween features alternative trance band, Underworld.
Barring the ugly flood in the restrooms, I would call this very successful opening. Very friendly crowd, very diverse crowd; upscale attire with a down to earth crowd. Unusual for LA, but in a good way. Standing in line to get into a club is one of the many drags about nightlife in Los Angeles. However, before 10pm the wait really isn’t that long and Versus seems to actually have a little something for everybody. If you watch for one of your favorite bands or DJs to enter the lineup, it just might be worth the wait.
618 Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90014