L.A.’s Bootsy Bellows Reopens, Puts the ‘Strip’ Back in Sunset Strip
Bootsy Bellows, the h.wood Group and actor David Arquette's burlesque nightclub, has reopened in Los Angeles.
At the recent re-launch of Bootsy Bellows, L.A.’s top burlesque-themed nightclub, the bottle service hostesses donned kitty-cat ears, and the featured dancers swooped across the stage like exotic birds in feathered boas and headpieces. The tuxedo-clad host, actor David Arquette, who co-founded Bootsy Bellows (the name was his mother’s moniker from her pin-up model and dancer days) with the h.Wood Group (John Terzain and Brian Toll) in partnership with the high-powered Hakkasan Group, welcomed guests including Kate Beckinsale, Justin Bieber, Marlon Wayans and Jason Derulo—who played a surprise set.
Bootsy Bellows originally opened three years ago, but closed briefly this spring for refurbishment by Built, Inc., one of the city’s foremost club design firms. "I am extremely excited about the new design,” Arquette says. “It is flawless and truly captures the glamour and excitement of Sunset Boulevard."
Indeed, the interiors have a throwback, supper club feel: A Rat Pack-styled bar and lounge, complete with gold-veined mirrors, diamond and starburst motifs, banquette seating, a marble dance floor illuminated by a mirror ball, and a showroom with button-tufted walls and elevated circular booths.
In a city well known for spurring on the 21st century burlesque revival—The Pussycat Dolls were formed in L.A. and the Christina Aguilera-Cher musical Burlesque was set here, after all—Bootsy Bellows always adds an element of surprise. Resident puppeteers circulate with puppets of James Dean, James Brown and Michael Jackson, and while programming will still include resident dance troupes, it will also showcase DJs such as William Lifestyle and Brody Jenner along with surprise impromptu celebrity performances.
The newly refreshed Sunset Strip location will remain the mother ship (there is an Aspen outpost), but Bootsy Bellows may be coming to a town or event near you soon. The h.wood Group has recently staged pop-up versions at the Superbowl, Coachella, Art Basel Miami and New York Fashion Week, and there are plans to open two new locations in 2016, in Toronto and—where else?—Las Vegas.
David A. Keeps is on the Los Angeles beat for Travel + Leisure. The host of Ovation TV's "Art and The City," he writes regularly about travel and design. Follow him on Twitter at @davidkeeps and Instagram at @davidkeepsinsta.
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