With Los Angeles just one hour away by plane, it’s a playground for visitors from Las Vegas. So what should one know when hitting the city of Angels for a night out on the town? Vegas Seven asked Eli Wehbe, operating partner at Warwick, one of Hollywood’s hottest clubs with a notoriously hard door, how L.A. club life differs from the Strip.
When did you start working in nightlife?
I was the former stage manager and talent booker at Playhouse Nightclub in Hollywood. I was responsible for booking talent, like Miguel and Alesso. Life in the nightlife community wasn’t always as glamorous as it is now. In my early twenties, I was a doorman and then I worked my way up to where I am now: a partner at one of L.A.’s trendiest nightclubs.
How did you end up at Warwick?
It’s a small world, as we all know. I already had a great relationship with two of Warwick’s partners, JT Torregiani and Sylvain Bitton, and back in the day we hung out often on our nights off, and we had, at the time, been [discussing] teaming up. Things obviously transpired, and we are where we are at today because of that.
Walk me through a typical Wednesday for you. It’s Warwick’s hottest night!
I wake up, hit the gym, then typically swing by Like a Gentleman Barbershop to get my hair cut. After that, I usually work out a second time, then grab some food. I recently committed to a plant-based diet, so I’m adamant about maintaining a healthy eating regimen. I’m also on email all day, helping sell tables, dealing with celebs and VIPs. Usually tables are sold-out midday. I try to take a 30-minute nap before the night gets crazy. When I wake up, I get ready, then almost always go to dinner with friends or clients before a big night. Around 11 p.m., I head to the venue—I always have my own table that’s hosted with bottle service and I personally invite celebrities, friends, models, other movers and shakers. … I’Il leave around 2 a.m. and I’m back at it by 7:30 a.m. the next day.
How is that different from a night out in Las Vegas?
Besides going out earlier, it’s all about the community. … Vegas nightlife is very tourist-driven, whereas L.A. nightlife is about familiar faces, locals, those you see on the daily. … It’s more of a lifestyle, in my opinion.
Do you find 1:30 a.m. to be a buzzkill?
Not necessarily. If people are going to go out and party, they are going to find somewhere to party. An after-party is usually always an option for people who are looking to stay out later.
Are you often in Las Vegas?
I used to be in Las Vegas a lot—primarily to visit other nightlife entrepreneurs. I now find myself visiting Vegas less frequently, though I do pop into the city to reconnect with other club owners from time to time. That stems from my obligations here in L.A., and to Warwick, but a trip to Vegas never hurts!
Do you see a lot of cross pollination of clientele?
Yes, a lot of the same clients are coming in and out of both Las Vegas and L.A. It’s definitely a shared circle. At the end of the day, everyone needs everyone, so it’s mutually beneficial to work together as a unit.
What are the biggest differences between going out in Las Vegas and in L.A.?
L.A. has time constraints, Las Vegas does not. I personally feel that L.A. has a more private, exclusive and intimate vibe about it. You get more of a luxury lounge-type vibe. In Vegas, things are done on a much bigger scale.
Which city goes harder?
From my take, L.A. is like running a sprint: People party hard and fast. Las Vegas is more like a marathon due to longer hours of operation, and the overall lifestyle is so much different.
In a city where people’s attention lasts three months, what drives loyalty at Warwick?
I think what sets Warwick apart from other hot spots in L.A. is the fact that we keep everything super-private, especially when it comes to our celebrity and VIP clientele. Everyone always feels safe and in good company, and that’s really important. We have much more of an upscale New York metropolitan vibe, where our guest experience is about warmth and exclusivity. We also remodel the venue every four or five months, keeping it fresh and leaving people continually excited.