Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Partying in Rum Jungle

One of my goals in Las Vegas was to see as many spots as I could. After all, Las Vegas's Peppermill Lounge was James Funderburk’s inspiration for the fire pits at Tonic. And Sin City's Ice, now closed, was an inspiration for the Forum.

When we arrived at the door of Rum Jungle in the Palm hotel, the line wasn't short. But Creative Loafing's Carlton Hargro paid the door lady $40 bucks to let us in through the VIP line.

Rum Jungle is an uber-club.
It’s spacious and open, so you can see and be seen. When you walk inside, water glides down the front wall. Sofas and ottomans line the front section, and were perfect for escaping the crowded bar and dance floor.

A long bar split the club into two sections. On each side of the bar were sofas and booths, which seemed like VIP areas. Many partiers had bottles of champagne or liquor at their tables. Four cages containing go-go dancers hung from the ceiling. Another dancer worked the catwalk above the bar. To get to the dance floor, you had to walk past the bar and up a few stairs. Two smaller waterfall walls separated the dance floor from the other sections. Two guys played drums and percussion along with the music that the DJ spun.

The National Association of Black Journalists' task force rented Rum Jungle for Thursday’s party, so the vibe was extra-hype. In Charlotte, we have a healthy black professional party scene, but the NABJ convention draws journalists from cities that don’t. So on Thursday, hundreds of black journalists eagerly took over Rum Jungle.

My only complaint was the DJ. He played enough of a song to let you say, “That’s my s…” But then he'd prematurely start up another song. Annoying. He had deep stacks, and played everything from Luther Vandross to Stevie Wonder to DJ Unk -- but partiers didn’t get to truly enjoy his collection.