Vegas’ latest celebrity-backed nightlife endeavor has an interesting take on the epidemic of chatty, Twitter-happy, loose lips: Theirs are sealed.
On the outside, Discreet Gentlemen’s Club subscribes to the standard marketing procedures—ads, promotions, street teams—but once inside, guests are enveloped in a cocoon of protection. While no-camera, no-cell phone picture policies are rarely enforced elsewhere, they are strictly enforced at Discreet.
With the June 18 grand opening, the former Minxx strip club will be revived by BMX legend TJ Lavin and four core investors. The club aims to put the “gentleman” back in gentlemen’s club—both literally and figuratively—and keeps mum on what inevitably follows. Keeping with this, Discreet has positioned itself as “The only gentlemen’s club in Las Vegas.”
Like a good lap dance, a visit to Discreet should start from the top and work its way down. The second floor is VIP territory, housing six so-called “discreet suites,” private booths with smoked glass doors, and a lounge divided into eight sections by heavy chain-mail curtains.
Downstairs, the main room boasts a bar, a two-pole LED-lit stage and raised VIP areas, some with sheer curtains for semi-privacy. Elsewhere, private rooms shield patrons entirely.
Discreet’s preppy striped walls, humidor and atomic-era pendant lights are a far cry from the seediness found elsewhere in Vegas. The total effect is an unexpected treat—a midcentury mod lounge borrowed from the set of Mad Men … that happens to have exotic dancers.
Still, the crown jewel is back upstairs. The VIP bar, with its collage of wooden hoops and up-lighting, is a collision of art and architecture. Seated at this bar, drinking cranberry juice in his ubiquitous cap and T-shirt, Lavin, who doesn’t drink, says he is pleased to have contributed his artistic sense to the project wherever possible.
“This is the reason I’d put my name on a club, get involved like this. … It’s a kid from Vegas’ dream to own a gentlemen’s club,” he says.
Although the two-time X Games gold medalist’s BMX and motocross buddies affectionately call him “the king of dirt,” Lavin, who also hosts MTV’s Real World/Road Rules Challenge, is articulate and business-minded. He recognized Discreet’s potential as a bespoke experience that he would feel comfortable sharing with his buddies—people whom he says deserve a “safe, clean, legitimate” place to enjoy a little he time.
In this, his first nightlife foray, Lavin joins childhood friend and freestyle motocross superstar Carey Hart in adding club ownership to his résumé. (Hart is a partner in Wasted Space at the Hard Rock Hotel, and operates Hart & Huntington Tattoo Co., as well.)
Eye-pleasing aesthetics and entertainers aside, service is how Discreet intends to set itself apart. Crowds will be kept comparatively small to maintain a boutique atmosphere that is every bit function as well as form. The venue has a capacity of about 350 people, including dancers and staff, but Lavin says they will keep a high staff-to-guest ratio—and entry is at the doorman’s discretion.
Call ahead and you can have your preferred table, bottle and entertainer ready and waiting—in the school girl/naughty nurse/cheerleader or other fantastical costume of your choosing. VIP hosts will anticipate clients at the door—be it the front door or through the back door, up the VIP elevator and directly into a private room.
“What happens in Las Vegas doesn’t stay in Las Vegas anymore; it ends up on MSNBC the next morning!” observes Discreet managing partner Anthony Botta. “I think people are looking for a little discretion. … [And] it’s really easy for us to do here what other places can’t do, and that’s give individualized service.” And the discretion doesn’t end when patrons leave Discreet’s doors. Should a receipt or bank statement be left out, wandering eyes will only see “casino cash advance” on the bill—a plausible excuse for where that $5,000 went.