Seaside Revelry

Nightlife scenes from the other Jersey Shore

Beyond HQ

There is, of course, more to do than just party at Revel. It’s closest kin would be the Cosmopolitan, as it’s chock-full of interesting restaurant concepts and a booming, youthful vibe. My favorite eatery is Distrito Cantina, a taco truck by Iron Chef’s Jose Garces.

I am almost ashamed that Las Vegas didn’t think of this first: a fully outfitted faux food truck planted in the middle of the dining promenade. This is the perfect spot for a late-night margarita and an expensive taco that you probably shouldn’t have but definitely can’t live without before bed. The menu is crafted from Lite-Brites!

You can take the girl out of Vegas, but you can’t take the Vegas out of the girl. The same can be said for nightclubs. And especially when this girl goes to a nightclub in another city. I like my bottle service flowing, my banquettes high enough where I can assume a prominent perch, and my DJs should point to the heavens (or disco ball) up above.

If Revel resort in Atlantic City is any indicator, the world has caught on that we have a good thing going here in the desert. During Labor Day weekend, instead of partying with the EC Twins and Dirty South at Marquee in Las Vegas, I ventured to the newly opened HQ Nightclub (a partnership of Las Vegas’ Angel Management Group and New York’s EMM Group), where I did exactly the same thing I would have done at home … but in New Jersey and with a view of the ocean.

The great thing about HQ Nightclub is that if you have spent any time in Las Vegas, you will recognize many of the faces that have been transported east to handle its operations—Alex Cordova, AMG’s vice president of marketing; Matt Minichino of Rehab fame; director of VIP services Jefferson Agar; and director of marketing Keith White, to only name a few.

Open since July, HQ has featured a Vegas-worthy lineup of DJs, and the Jersey crowd seems to love it. Karma (the nightclub made famous by MTV’s Jersey Shore) this isn’t. At 40,000 square feet, HQ is a multidimensional venue with various environments in which to indulge, depending on your mood. The library bar on the lower level has gaming tables and billiards, while the second level—where all the action happens—is circular, with the focus pointed toward the corner DJ booth, and it showcases a panoramic view of the ocean. Everywhere you go in this resort, the sea is unavoidable. Plans also call for an HQ Beach Club, also run by AMG.

With a blowout weekend opening in May that rivaled that of the Cosmo’s—Beyoncé was the headliner—Revel revealed its sleek Arquitectonica-designed tower to the world and also, perhaps, sent the message that it is trying to give Las Vegas a run for its money.

Atlantic City isn’t easy to get to (it’s about two hours from New York’s JFK airport or 30 minutes from Philadelphia), but it is encouraging to see how the Las Vegas standard has permeated other gaming destinations. Leaving the club, I spotted some barefoot girls, their sparkly red stilettos in-hand, heading out to the boardwalk for a cigarette. After all, unlike its Western counterparts, Revel is smoke free. Dorothy, you aren’t in Las Vegas anymore.

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The inaugural GlowRun (co-sponsored by Vegas Seven and Insomniac Events) is nigh, and participants are feverishly crafting illuminated costumes for the Oct. 7 event downtown. As exciting as the fun run itself is, DJ/producer Girl Talk (a.k.a. Gregg Gillis) is stocking up on samples for AfterGlow. Before he headlines the afterparty in the Fremont East entertainment district, Girl Talk lets us in on his plan to keep the energy going following the 7-kilometer race. Any plans to participate in the race or get a team together before you headline AfterGlow?