Nightclubs and strip clubs are miles apart, but dayclubs and strip club dayclubs, I’ve learned, are pretty similar. If I blindfolded you and drove you to Sapphire Pool & Dayclub, you’d think we were checking out a new boutique pool party at Rumor or Trump.
The layout and size are most comparable to the intimacy of Bare at Mirage, and the theme is nautical—blue and white bikinis, blue and white cabanas and cocktails like the Admirals’ Daughter (Yacht Club Vodka, watermelon purée, muddled cucumber, fresh lime and soda $14).
After ordering drinks with the girlfriend—I got the Daughter, she got the pineapple mojito—one of the dancers makes eye contact.
“You wrote a book, didn’t you?” she says.
Crap, I think. How do I know this girl, and how is the girlfriend going to react? And then it hits me: This is the wife of a pickup artist I interviewed years ago.
After catching up, the three of us head back to my new/old friend’s cabana. We take a seat, order the fried chicken sandwich (buttermilk chicken, cole slaw, shaved jalapeño and sweet pickle, $17) off chef Kerry Simon’s poolside menu and learn a bit more about the strip club’s new dayclub.
First and foremost, this is not a topless pool. Not the dancers; not the guests. If you want a lap dance, you can go inside, but the girls don’t pressure you into getting dances—that’s not the main objective here. The dancers hang out poolside because they get a discounted house fee come nighttime; that’s the amount the girls have to pay Sapphire to work. That means the girls are more relaxed, more themselves.
And who wouldn’t show up early to work when it includes cabanas featuring A/C, misters, DirecTV, refrigerators stocked with three types of coconut water (regular, mango and pineapple) and mango-scented towels? (General manager Cory Ardizzone got the towel idea while golfing in Maui.) Sapphire needs fine touches like that. All the other pool clubs are connected to hotels, so they have built-in customer bases who just have to throw on their flip-flops and walk outside. Sapphire has to make the trip worth your while.
Come on weekdays to network with the girls and promoters; come on weekends for the madness. The pool’s grand opening drew a crowd of more than 700.
And don’t worry about leaving smelling like suntan oil and stripper. Sapphire’s got four showers and a swimsuit dryer, too. It’s the same one they have at Spa Aria, I believe.