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First look: Inside Mumbai’s first Playboy Club

Disco lights, dance floor, super loud music: It’s a throwback to the 2000s

HT48HRS_Special Updated: Nov 07, 2016 13:38 IST
Sarit Ray
The bar at Playboy Club
The bar at Playboy Club(Photo courtesy: Playboy Club)

Disco lights, dance floor, super loud music: It’s a throwback to the 2000s.

If it wasn’t for the lady with the massive phablet taking selfies, you’d think you were in an early 2000s Mumbai party.

The Playboy Club (inside the erstwhile Century Mills compound, PB Marg), which officially launches on November 12, hosted a “super-exclusive preview” last night (November 4).

VIDEO: Inside Playboy Club Mumbai

Shiny disco balls

And while it might may well have been the most happening party in town, it was also the loudest, darkest, and most over-the-top. Think laser lights, DJs belting out the US top 40 list, speakers so loud the bartender can’t hear you, and bouncers. Lots of them. All the way from the driveway to the actual dance-floor. Thought you’d left that behind a decade ago? Well…

The interiors (Photo courtesy: Playboy Club)

Mumbai has always loved the new. Especially the swish set (as the Mercedes, and Hummers wider than PB Marg, proved) that had queued up outside. And waited in their Saturday night bests at the entrance as the security frantically searched for their names on the multiple guest lists.

“Are you on Dino’s [Morea; former actor, part investor] list?” “Sorry sir, you’re not in here”. The usual opening night melee.

For those who do get selected for the Hunger Games, you make it past the velvet rope Lakshmanrekha, up stairs with modestly dresses “bunnies” (we’ll get to that), over a chic animal-print velvet carpet (well, until someone spills a drink on it), and into the time capsule that is the Playboy Club.

Laser lights at the club’s opening night (Photo courtesy: Playboy Club)

VIPs only, please

Understandably, the management is looking to keep this “super-exclusive”. Like Playboy clubs around the world are. Patrons include famous Hollywood crowd, musicians and athletes (we’re talking Cristiano Ronaldo famous).

Except, if the crowd yesterday is anything to go by, it was a lot of Lokhandwala TV crowd that will pretty much show up at any opening night. Oh, and the token Bollywood celebrity. Nothing against Randeep Hooda and Jimmy Shergill. But super-exclusive? Not quite.

Add to that ladies in shiny dresses, the aspiring-famous male specimen in sunglasses (mind you, it’s already so dark you can’t recognise people), even the token lady in a shiny sari. Yes.

The Playboy Club is pretty dark (Photo courtesy: Playboy Club)

The music, which started from generic EDM, then went to Calvin Harris-popular, and dove low to Backstreet Boys.

When the snazzy Playboy logo wasn’t on the giant screen, it played YouTube videos (last seen at dorm parties), glimpses of ‘real’ Playboy parties (with the famous people and skimpily clad Playboy bunnies), and even briefly paused at a Windows 8 desktop image.

The swanky interiors (Photo courtesy: Playboy Club)

As for the bunnies, here’s the tricky part. They really have been the main draw of the Playboy Clubs since the first one opened in Chicago, in 1960. You get to party with the actual fantasy women from the notorious glossy. And you had to be rich enough to afford it.

But in the age of the internet, and the criticism against objectifying women, the appeal of Playboy has waned. They can’t bring that to India anyway, so you get sanskari bunnies instead — dressed in modest LDBs with faux cuffs and bunny cufflinks.

What you’re then paying for then (and you will pay a fair deal) is to hang with your equally rich buddies inside a dark club where you can’t hear each other.

But, hey, we’re Mumbai. We love the new. Even if it’s really the old.