Tier 4 – Community College
So named because 1) no matter who you are, are, $20 gets you in and 2) there are a lot of Asians. Usually a club is predominantly Asian in this phase with some Hispanic and Indian (7-11, not casino) mixed in. Girls get charged cover as well unless they’re very hot. Some clubs that have had extended Community College phases are Highlands, Area, and Element.
Tier 5 – Pack a Vest and A Chrome
There’s one word for this phase: G-H-E-T-T-O. It’s like Saddle Ranch came to the club. “Bankrupt” just got out of prison and wants to get his groove on. The people come from the Inland Empire and places that you’ve heard of in N.W.A. songs. Lots of Tapout and sports jerseys. There are entire herds of 200 lb+ Mexican girls. The whole place smells like weed. Guys = neck tattoos, Girls = boob tattoos with their man’s name (may he rest in peace) in cursive writing. I’ve actually seen a guy with a FACE tattoo in one of these clubs. Not just Mike Tyson around the eye tribal symbol stuff. I’m talking both cheeks fully tatted and the word FUCK on one side and YOU on the other.
Fights will often break out in these clubs. Let me rephrase that. Shoving matches will break out. Guys in LA are way too pussy to actually ever throw a bunch. It might screw up their faux-hawk.
Tier 6 – Clusterfuck
My friend Kelly correctly identified and named this phase when we unintentionally ended up at Ritual a few weeks before it closed. In the clusterfuck phase you have:
- A mostly empty club. Only about 15% -20% as many people as when the club was hot
- Random ass people in the club. A midget in a wheelchair. A creepy 70-year old guy in a hospital gown (hey he had $20). A woman brought her kids and they’re drinking.
- A random “10” – you have no idea what she’s doing there. Is she a hooker? Is she dating a bartender? Out of towner? Have a penis? All of the above?
Tier 6 clubgoer
After this phase the club mercifully shuts down for 6-12 months, remodels and changes its name to something cooler and more vague and starts the lifecycle over again. A few observations about the whole process
- Clubs surprisingly make the most money in the later phases. Everyone is paying cover and they pack the place in like sardines. AND they still buy drinks. This is more lucrative than a bunch of 9’s and 10’s who don’t spend any money and just a few baller dudes in bottle service.
- Clubs will try to only shut down for a short time and reopen but this doesn’t work. You can’t fool me Empire, you’re still Sugar. The worst was Ritual not even closing but actually sectioning off half and calling it Halo. You can’t fool me; I can still smell the weed coming from Ritual next door! You’re sill Ritual and you’re still a Tier 5!
- Some spots are blessed and some are just cursed. The place that is now XIV was Privilege before that and Shelter before that and all 3 have enjoyed elite crowds and long runs. Contrast that with a not-to-be-named place near Hollywood and Highland that over 3 turnovers has never been higher than Tier 3.