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March  26

The Barista's Excellent Saturday Night Adventure

Inside_manFirst of all, the new Spike Lee movie, "Inside Man," is absolutely terrific, starting right with the irresistable foot-tapping opening-credits number "Chaiyya Chaiyya Bollywood Joint." Denzel Washington, the hostage negotiator, plays a cop with a brain, guts, sex appeal and a sense of humor, and, did we mention sex appeal? And oh, by the way, "24" fans, speaking of sex appeal, there's a Kiefer Sutherland government thriller, "The Sentinal," coming out on the big screen in a few weeks.


After the show and a little bite at the surprisingly-crowded Panera Bread, we stopped in at an opening at Gallery 51 in Montclair, which is featuring the work of a 22-year-old Montclair artist James Adelman, who uses scratchboard technique, along other methods, to render some unusually detailed and subtle results, including the evocative "Dominion of Hopper," (right) already sold. It turns out that scratchboard is an unforgiving medium, because the artist can't just mask over mistakes with new black paint. Adelman confessed to us that one of the canvasses in the show does have an error of sorts, but we didn't have time to do a full audit. Why don't you visit the gallery at 51 Church Street and try to figure out what he means?

Red_cheetah_2 Finally, we decided to check out what all the fuss is about at the Nightclub Formerly Known As Rascals -- now the Red Cheetah. There was a line out front, not quite reminscent of the Studio 54 days, but with a couple of real bouncers, who kept people waiting outside in the drizzle long enough so that paying $10 to get into the red-walled, leopard-skin-theme carpeted club would feel like a prize. The crowd, we think we can safely say, is not the Garrison Keillor-listening demographic, and unfortunately our men didn't pass the club's strict "no sneakers" policy and opted to wait in the car. Sneakers may be discouraged, but tattoos are not, at least not in the woman who takes your money. Fashion for men is button-down shirts, no tie or jacket, worn outside the pants; while fashion for women is bare arms, short skirts, high heels and shiny jewelry. Upstairs is a disco scene, where songs like "Dancing Queen" by ABBA are played at conversation-inhibiting levels, and where drinks are handed out in plastic cups. Men_in_fire_1 Endearingly, the upstairs ladies room has a basket stocked with peppermints, Lifesavers and individual slices of chewing gum, and there were two large posters advertising a Friday May 5 performance of the buff male revue group called Men in Fire, presumably at the Red Cheetah itself.There was only one couple on the dance floor at around 11 pm on Saturday night and, except for a few benches, no place to sit -- save for the $140-a-table VIP area.

Downstairs, where drinks are served in real glass, is more civilized and a likelier bet for the mortgaged class. Owner Ed Rodgriguez Rodriguez came up and introduced himself, and though he didn't offer to buy us a drink, he was nice and did answer questions -- although he may be the only person in Montclair who's never heard of Steven Plofker. There's a sushi bar that's cheap ($6.50 for a spicy tuna roll) if uninspired.

By the way, there was plenty of room on the second floor of the Fullerton parking deck, where it's not only absolutely free to leave your car for a few hours on a Saturday night but there's also no line to get out. It also is a damn good place to pick up the kind of guy who can't get into the Red Cheetah.

March 26, 2006 in Happenings | Permalink


wow, debbie, sounds like you had a very busy saturday night. here's what we did--my sweetie and i went in to see the opening night of Lestat at the palace theatre in nyc. it's in previews, and opening night was supposed to be two weeks ago, but they had to do some rewrites or something. anyway, we had great seats and i enoyed the show. they need to do a little tweaking here and there, but overall i thought it was a really good, fun broadway show which will especially appeal to teenagers. the songs were great hooky showtunes, written by elton john. i especially like the part where lestat shares a nice long slobbery wet kiss with .... HIS MOM!!!!! aaagh! i wanted to say, "Hey, i know she's hot and i know she's wearing a hot broadway goth outfit, but dude--IT"S YOUR MOM!"
there are also two showstopping solo numbers by the teenager who plays claudia, the little girl. amy sparrow is the actress who played her and she has a fantastic, well trained voice.
anyway--at intermission i was strolling around in the lobby and i saw alice cooper. he still looks exactly the same except older. (duh......) i got his autograph and he was really nice and friendly. he was in his full alice cooper gear, and still had that emaciated skinny rock star body, long black hair and eye makeup. it would lookimpressive if he just let his hair go natural white. especially with the eye make up.

Posted by: i'm fran, dammit | Mar 26, 2006 4:09:00 AM

Did you happen to see cathar getting his groove on?

Posted by: Iceman | Mar 26, 2006 8:04:23 AM

Well....we didn't have as busy a night as Madame Barista....we went to Senorita's with about 14 people for a pre-theater dinner - decent food - the place was packed - learned a new trick from one of our dining companions there which is to order a no-mix margarita which tastes SO MUCH better than the drecky icky sweet pre-mix ones - tell them 2 parts tequilla, 1 part triple sec and 1 part lime juice - tastes great!

Then we all walked around the corner to 12 Miles West to see The Beacon Hill Book Club. Despite so-so reviews in the Ledger and the Independent Press, I thought the play was good - had some funny parts and the 1 woman who played the veddy proper Bostonian matriarch had it down pat - for $26 bucks, its a good play to go see locally. It is running til April 6th or 9th (can't remember the exact date.).

Posted by: Anne Prince | Mar 26, 2006 9:20:31 AM


permalink have you ever been to a night club, ever? you should get out more before you start critizing everything

after meeting the barista ladies it all becomes clear. first off spell my name right Rodriguez second why in the world would i buy you a drink. then you start with asking me why don't i advertise with them ( yeah right) by the way at 11pm we had over 250 people already ( we keep a count) still early for a night club even if your over 50. its a night club ( music) you should turn down your hearing aids first before entering. anyone that writes about the bathroom,,, ahh i can't say it ( get a life). for anybody that cares, the average age is 25 and over and yes we keep sneakers out and we do have a dress code.


I apologize for going off, if you met these lady's you would understand. when the staff found out who they were and saw how they dressed and with their little pad writing away LOL
( can't stop laughing sorry) well you get the picture.

Posted by: ceo cheetah | Mar 26, 2006 9:20:50 AM

before anybody says a word i miss spelled criticizing sorry

Posted by: ceo cheetah | Mar 26, 2006 9:24:51 AM

Too bad you
a) can't type/spell/use correct grammar
b) don't recognize some free publicity when you see it

You're not helping your place by posting here, CEO. Really. According to you, your business is booming, so if you find the comments here so irritating, why don't you just STOP READING and POSTING?

Posted by: babaloo | Mar 26, 2006 9:27:42 AM

its called having fun babaloo and im not going to sit here worrying about grammer and spelling and yes i agree with you about free publicity thats why i am posting to give my side just having some fun isnt that what life is about fun meeting new friends dancing laughing

Posted by: ceo cheetah | Mar 26, 2006 9:34:06 AM

Plastic glass=No class

Posted by: Miss Martta | Mar 26, 2006 9:35:22 AM

Ed: Your public response demonstrates your lack of professionalism, understanding of public relations, and complete lack of class. Further, these posts are archived by Google, et al for many years to follow. I hope you're happy with your niche market 20-somethings that IM/TXT in their own circles. Just don't pretend to be operating the "best" world-class nightclub ever, because that would demonstrate a gregarious host of the party.

Posted by: Jim | Mar 26, 2006 9:35:50 AM

Oh man parents are so much cooler than myself, going to movies and then clubs on a Saturday night. I stayed home and worked on webpages for the school. I must be a loser or something.

Posted by: katie | Mar 26, 2006 9:45:35 AM

Hey CEO will you still have comics? Or is it only a danceclub now?

Posted by: rudebuddha | Mar 26, 2006 9:49:53 AM

My Saturday night consisted of a screening of Thank You For Smoking at the Clairidge. Onion-esque humor but the film also carried a serious storyline of a divorced dad and his son which was a surprising disappointment in what I had expected to be a completely farcical experience. Anyway, a stroll along Church Street revealed how bustling Raymond's was, a quick stop in to Amanti Vino, and yes, I concur, the parking deck is a wonderfully clean and efficient experience.

Posted by: Jim | Mar 26, 2006 9:51:46 AM

sorry jim but i say it the way i see it
and when someone comes up to me and asks me to advertise and i say no it doesnt give them the write to trash my place i bet if i said yes the article would be different ( just my opinion)
who ever said best world class night club ever ? show me where i said that


yes we still have comedy thursday thru sunday the entrance is in the rear of the building

Posted by: ceo cheetah | Mar 26, 2006 9:59:07 AM


Your night sounds exactly like mine. Are you following me?

Posted by: rudebuddha | Mar 26, 2006 9:59:13 AM

Such a warm welcome seems to await people at Red Cheetah, it's amazing to me that area chapters of both the Pagan's(sic) MC and Hells Angels MC haven't made it their favorite club already. Neither group is known to wear sneakers, either.

And in fairness to both the Angels and the Pagans, they probably have much more class than Red Cheetah's management.It was especially tacky that Rodriguez had such a "hip" chortle at how the Barista and her female companion were dressed. Perhaps you'd be kinder to much-tattooed men in colors, up for "fun?"

Posted by: cathar | Mar 26, 2006 10:06:29 AM

I thought that was supposed to be a "classy" place. The rudeness is unprecedented-- you sound like a crude and idiotic kid rather than the manager of a "classy" club. I have no interest in going to the "Cheetah" but I had planned on dropping by Rascals one of these nights-- now I'm not too sure about that.

Posted by: latebloomer | Mar 26, 2006 10:21:10 AM

Ed Ed Ed Ed Ed, I didn't come up and ask you for advertising. While we were sitting at the sushi bar, my friend Liza asked how you were spreading the word, and when you mentioned all the ads you were placing elsewhere, I smiled and said, "You should really advertise with us."

Sorry for the fact I was wearing jeans and Polar fleece. I didn't get the inspiration to come to your club until after the movie, and I was going to go home and change, but then remembered that I had to stop by Studio 51. But please don't insult Liza, who - though not baring any midriff - was dressed nice.


Thank you, as a professional booker of comedy, for recognizing that THIS SITE IS COMICAL. But DECIVING? How so? You don't serve drinks out of plastic cups upstairs? People who listen to Garrison Keillor (if you've ever heard of Garrison Keillor)are your demographic? You don't have bouncers?

Actually, as one of my posters said, you don't realize that what you got here was free advertising. That I took money out of my pocket to patronize your club and write about it in my style.

But that's OK. Feel free to visit and post any time, EVEN IN ALL CAPS. And wear whatever you want.

Posted by: The Barista | Mar 26, 2006 10:34:25 AM

PS-- I understand if you didn't like feeling pressured to advertise, but the smartest reaction would have been silence, not trashing Debbie with very personal and rude remarks.

I assume you're not the owner-- I wonder how s/he feels about your total lack of professionalism?

Posted by: latebloomer | Mar 26, 2006 10:36:19 AM

i wont appoligize about what i wrote but i am sorry that it came out rude i dint mean it to

just because a business won't advertise doesnt give anybody the write to talk down about any business and not give a true discription of it.

again i apologize to the board if i came across rude

Posted by: ceo cheetah | Mar 26, 2006 10:37:52 AM


HLEG is a publicly traded company:

Posted by: rudebuddha | Mar 26, 2006 10:40:18 AM


i dont even remember what you were wearing it was a joke i was poking fun at what you wrote

Fashion for men is button-down shirts, no tie or jacket, worn outside the pants; while fashion for women is bare arms, short skirts, high heels and shiny jewelry.

have fun and remember we only live once

nothing i wrote was an attack on anyone person but rather playing to the board

Posted by: ceo cheetah | Mar 26, 2006 10:45:43 AM

Remember what PT Barnum said:
"I don’t care what they say about me in the newspapers, as long as they spell my name right"

Maybe you do remember it, since by arguing with Debbie, you prolong the thread and get even more free advertising.

Posted by: Bitpusher | Mar 26, 2006 10:47:34 AM

Went to Senoritas Fri. night. Always looking for a decent Mexican spot and Sangria. Unfortunately I'm still looking. The food here was really nothing special. I used to get great Mexican 10 years ago in Concord, New Hampshire for god's sake!!! I've had great Mexican in Maine!!! Why can't I get good Mexican in Baristaville?????

Posted by: montclair_is_crazy | Mar 26, 2006 10:48:48 AM

Good, Ed. Glad you're having fun. And by the way, I didn't come in to trash you or punish you for not advertising - but because not having reported on the big new scene was a disservice to my readers.

Posted by: The Barista | Mar 26, 2006 10:52:20 AM

Kind of glad I missed the fun last night. CEO, you don't need to advertise. You need a PR person/handler that ensures you don't speak on your own behalf. The customers you are trying to attract -- before it was an older crowd, now the average age is 25 -- seems to change all the time. The fact that you and your staff were making fun of paying customers even before anything was written about you, says a lot about the kind of host you are. If you read back (reading comprehension and all), it's really not that unflattering a portrait, unless you don't want people to know what it's like inside your club.

Posted by: Liz | Mar 26, 2006 10:54:18 AM

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