Saturday, November 04, 2006

Tequila Rain

Tequila Rain is in Novi at Fountain Walk. It's above Lucky's and the entrance is around the corner from the main entrance. How to describe Tequila Rain? The only way to put it, is like this: You know how there are chain restaurants? TGIFridays, Red Robin, Olive Garden? Tequila Rain is a "chain bar." It's overpriced for what it is, but it does offer everything that you need. There are a handful of places to sit, plenty of space to set down a drink, and a dance floor that's accommodating. In the summer the outdoor roof/patio is really nice, but it gets plenty busy. Drinks are not super expensive, and you don't have to wait long to get one in your hand. Although, get there after 10p and you'll have to wait 20 minutes till you make the front of the line. Once you pass dress code inspection and pay the $5 cover, you get to finally enjoy the emptiness of the club. It only gets busy inside after 12. Up until then, they have to keep a line out the door to give the impression that it's *the* place to be. My advice? Go early. Pay cover, get your hand stamped, then walk right into Lucky's. Get something to eat (the food isn't all that bad), or get an early drink. Hell, play some video games, shoot some pool, or watch sports on the big screen. Only migrate upstairs after 1130/12.

Dress Me Up, Dress Me Down
I consider myself a fairly fashionable person. I don't always dress the part, but when I do, I like to think I do it well. On multiple occasions I've been complemented on my shirts or shoes, only to have the bouncer turn me away at the door bc my jeans are torn (That particular instance was over a year ago). The other night I went with REALLY torn up jeans; not handmade tears (*gag*), but actual highly stressed, torn and reinforced jeans bought as such. One of the bouncers looked at me and called over another. The second bouncer then kneeled down, eye level with my KNEE, and after a pause told me I was good to go. All I have to say is, WHAT THE F*CK WAS THAT?

Help Wanted: DJ
The music here isn't bad. The problem is the DJ. If you can stand mixing between Justin Timberlake and AC/DC, then I guess you won't have a problem (though, that in itself is a problem). I have no gripe with places that put on rock n' roll. And despite my lack of interest in pop music, there's nothing wrong with JT. You can even play them both on the same night; just not one after the other. Bottom line: the DJ at Tequila Rain blows. It's plain and simple. An iPod on random would yield better results.

Wait Staff That Can't Wait (To Go)
As mentioned above, it's not terribly difficult to get a drink. On top of multiple bartenders, there are plenty of perky, attractive waitresses walking around, looking sexier than any of the patrons in the club. The problem is that the waitresses do not know how to milk you for drinks and tips. Why is this a problem? It's a problem because they're not sociable. Being sociable, even if it is only done with the aspiration of taking home more money, makes for a better customer experience. She'll ask you how you are, what she can get you, and then return with the drinks and the bill. The only other question she'll ask is whether you want to put the tab on the card or pay cash. They're too busy trying to serve as many people as possible to stop for a moment and bullshit. I'm not asking you to flirt with me (okay, maybe I am), but I do want to feel like a welcomed customer. By the time you leave, you're left feeling like a one-night stand the morning after, but without the nightcap. "They got me drunk. They took my money. And they didn't even have the kindness to at least fake it."

The bartenders on the other hand are simply too busy to be sociable. When they're not busy, they're usually at the other end of the bar chatting with the bartenders that are; or they're doing busy work, which may or may not be part of their job description.

Let's Get Dirty
It's a fairly mixed crowd, and for that reason, the place doesn't have the best atmosphere. You've got guys dressed up in nice shirts and pants. You've got guys dressed down in cool, hip clothing. And then you've got guys dressed like they just came from class- baggy pants+striped polo or button shirt. Almost all the girls look pretty good. Same mix that applies for the guys apples for the girls, with the exception being the dressed up factor. Not many women walk in dressed to kill. But what makes for a really interesting mix within the bar are the age gaps. Next to the 21yr old drunk college girl freaking Joe Cool, you'll find their mother and father dancing with one another. You'll probably see a few guys from Ford dressed in business casual, sending drinks to the 20-something and her friend. They'll take the drinks. They'll talk to them for no more than one minute, and then they'll leave. The bad news is that after that ordeal, women will raise their shields. The good news is that the situation will repeat itself throughout the night, and after a while, they'll put down the shields and be open to conversation. Bottom Line: The men are a mix, though most have little sense of style and look the same. The women in the beginning of the night are college girls. The women at the end of the night are messy drunks. The one's in the know, know that closing the bar only hurts their reputation.

A good place to go with a large group of friends. But don't count on getting free cover, even if you bring 15 people, and have a guy to girl ratio of 1:5. It doesn't matter. In the end, you'll have fun. You just might freeze your ass off standing in line before the fun can begin.