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Barfly: Living the High Life at Pure Lounge

In Clubs, Culture
BARFLY-MT1218-Pure1

Saturday evening: Off work, I change out of my uniform—a pair of cheap khakis and a polo—and don another uniform of sorts: a black pinstripe suit and wingtip shoes. I’m back on the clock, and tonight’s objective is Pure Lounge.

Pure Lounge is Sunnyvale’s newest lounge, so new that it doesn’t even have a sign, just a banner that hangs over the former theater it occupies. The exterior is bland, yet ironically, Pure distinguishes itself as the flashiest, glitziest and most glamorous club on gentrified Murphy Avenue.

Pure caters to the young and wealthy, offering a “Vegas-style nightlife” far removed from Nevada. It’s a world that I have only experienced in movies, full of carefree youth and lots of disposable income. It’s an alien world.

Red velvet ropes cordon off the entrance, snaking around and forming a queue. Burly, suit-clad Secret Service agents cluster around the ropes, every so often fingers rising to the earpiece radios curling up from their collars, while a hostess scurries about, clipboard in hand. The entrance screams “exclusive.” In the movies, entering a club like this is a subjective process, guards seemingly picking people at random based on any perceived “coolness.: Tonight, I fancy myself a Don Draper of sorts—handsome and proper with a certain je ne sais quoi that I hope will bluff me past security.

Turns out, all I needed were the wingtips and $20, a paltry sum for Pure’s target clientele, but a substantial sum for me. But that old maxim, “You have to spend money to make money,” is true for reviewers. I pull a Jackson from my wallet and hand it to the cashier behind the ticket booth, who hands me a cheap orange raffle ticket in return: my ticket in.

The narrow entryway opens up into a massive room with a sprawling Euro-Asian decor. The white plaster walls are lined with imitation Greco-Roman columns. VIP booths line the aisles and the dance floor, unoccupied booths cordoned off with velvet ropes. The entire room sparkles with soft lighting: LEDs in the VIP tables glow an ice blue while spinning spotlights throw shapes across the walls and floor.

The party’s in full swing. Dress shirts and curve-hugging evening dresses fill the club to near-capacity. Patrons crowd the dance floor, holding glow rods high above their heads and grinding to the beats of celebrity DJ Slick D, and overflow onto the aisles, all under the watchful eyes of the security, who stand scattered around. The DJ makes love to the crowd, constantly shouting out to all the “single ladies,” while a photographer roams the crowd, snapping portraits for the website. The liquor flows freely. As the night continues, the party escalates: in a VIP area, two women straddle each other and grind ferociously to the point of clothed sex. I leave shortly after last call, around 1:30am, partied out but in far better shape than many others.

Pure Lounge
146 S. Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale

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