Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Visions (New Orleans, LA)

Quality of Dances (16/20) – You’ll get an excellent grind, some over the pants hand action and possibly even some teasing with the mouth, and two way contact is standard.  Pretty much all of the ladies tolerate some tit groping, and most of them even encourage it.  If you’re looking for more than that, I was quoted $175 for 20 minutes in the “party room.”  No one was explicit about what goes on in the party room, but I was told that “what happens in there stays in there” and that the fee is good for “anything but sex,” whatever that means.

Quality of Dancers (6/10) – There may be a few 8s and 9s, but this is mostly a 6 and 7 type of place.  Still, despite the presence of a few post-pregnancy bellies, I didn’t see anyone bad and was generally pleased with the quality.

Number of Dancers (6/10) – They usually have about 3 dancers on stage at a time and there are several girls working the crowd, but it’s more of a place for locals, so I wouldn’t expect quick attention if you aren’t one.  

Variety of Dancers (3.5/5) – I’ve seen a good mix of thick and thin black and white girls, but there don’t seem to be many, if any, Asians or Latinas in here.

Attitudes (8/10) – The ladies here are chatty, very low pressure, and basically the opposite of what you’d find on Bourbon Street.  One girl gave me an unsolicited tour of the club, another alerted me when I unknowingly dropped a few dollars on the floor, and pretty much all of them wait for a new song before starting a dance.  The girls do go from one person to the next while on stage and expect a tip, but it’s much better than the usual tip walk since they stop and shake it for a buck.    

Value (8/10) – There’s an $8 cover at night ($4 during the day), but you get a free drink ticket with that, so it’s really like a $4 cover at night and free during the day.  Beers are $4, mixed drinks are $6, and dances are $20 or $30, depending on where you want it, which is very reasonable since they play fairly long songs.

Club Setup (3/10) – This is not a classy club, but it’s a decent setup if you’re just looking for a place to down some beers and watch some girls.  There’s a huge “M” shaped stage that fills most of the room, attached stools around the bar (but slightly too far away from it), and really nowhere else to sit, though you can play pool in the back.  They do have some TVs, but they’re too small and/or too far from the people who can see them for anyone to really bother watching. 

Dance Setup (7/10) – For $20, you can sit on a shitty, uncomfortable bench that lines the brightly lit communal room.  The three corner seats are poor, but everywhere else is unacceptable.  Still, I’ll give them a decent score here since you can upgrade for just $10 more to your own room.  The rooms have open doors, but they’re angled in a way that makes them pretty solid, especially if you get one of the two in the back.   

Atmosphere (7/10) – You shouldn’t bring a girlfriend or a business partner here, but I really liked the atmosphere in a total dive bar strip club sort of way.  There’s a good mix of music, a decent crowd, friendly male bartenders and they’ve got the least pushy shot girl ever.  She barely even slowed down as she walked by and halfheartedly said, “shot?”  This is definitely a place that I’d hang out for a while.  

Location (3/5) – The location is the only real drawback of Visions since you’re not going to be walking here from anywhere that you’re likely to be staying if you’re from out of town.  It’s about a $20 fifteen minute cab ride from the French Quarter, which is a bit of a pain in the ass, but you can more than make up that lost money by getting one drink and two dances here that you’d have otherwise gotten on Bourbon Street. 

Overall – Visions is everything that a shithole dive bar strip club should be.  It is, by far, my favorite club in New Orleans.

RAW SCORE = 67.5

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Barely Legal (New Orleans, LA)

Quality of Dances (11/20) – The dances here are similar to what you’ll find at the Hustler Club down the street – some light grinding with varying degrees of two way contact.  I wouldn’t come here expecting amazing dances, but they certainly aren’t bad enough to keep me away.

Quality of Dancers (6.5/10) – There are a few really hot girls here, but for the most part they’re decent but unspectacular.  Mostly in the 6-7 range.  And if you’re expecting to see lots of “barely legal” girls, you’re going to be disappointed – they seem to be about the same age as the girls at all of the other clubs, for better or worse. 

Number of Dancers (5/10) – While I was there on a Sunday night during Jazz Fest, they had one girl on stage and a few girls working the crowd.  It wasn’t enough, but it wasn’t too bad.  

Variety of Dancers (4/5) – Most of the ladies that I saw were relatively thin, but it’s hard to complain when there are attractive black, white and Asian dancers working at the same time.

Attitudes (5.5/10) – You aren’t going to find a hustle-free club on Bourbon Street and Barely Legal is no exception, but the attitudes here are above average for the area.  Some girls still give a high pressure VIP sales pitch, but most are happy to sit and chat for a bit as long as you spend some money eventually.

Value (6/10) – You should be able to find free admission passes somewhere in the area (I grabbed one off the ground in front of the club), but the usual cover is somewhere around $3-5 with an additional $10 charge if you want to go to the VIP floor where you’ll have access to the balcony over Bourbon Street.  Beer prices vary on different nights, but should be between $3-6 each, and I got a redbull with a double shot of whiskey for $7.50, which isn’t bad at all.  The stage show is above average and dances are a decent value at $30 each since they run frequent two-for-ones, so this is a bargain as far as French Quarter strip clubs go even though it isn’t super cheap.  

Club Setup (8.5/10) – Barely Legal is a very nice club.  There’s a decent center stage with 2 poles and seats surrounding it, lots of small tables with rolly chairs throughout the club, a decent bar in the back, and a sweet VIP area upstairs where you can go out on a balcony over Bourbon Street and throw beads at the passing ladies.  Unfortunately, the only street nudity that I saw was an old dude hanging dong, but it definitely has potential.  Also, I wasn’t there at the right time of year, but there’s a courtyard with a swimming pool that opens up in the summer that I need to get back to experience.

Dance Setup (7/10) – Dances are given in booths with timers like at the Bourbon Street Hustler and many other Déjà Vu clubs.  Some of the booths are very private and others are only moderately so, but they all operate the same way: the girl takes your $30 and feeds it into the machine, which then starts counting down your time until the light changes from green to red and your dance ends.  Some people think it’s a bit of a buzzkill, but I like knowing that I’m going to get the amount of dance time that I paid for in a city like New Orleans, where I’m likely to be so drunk that there’s no possibility of me accurately counting dances. If you want to upgrade to the VIP rooms, they have frosted doors and look very private, but I’m not sure what to read into the bouncer’s comment that “they’re monitored, but anything goes as long as it’s consensual and legal.”   

Atmosphere (6.5/10) – The music is solid, there are a surprisingly large number of female customers for a place as creepily named as “Barely Legal,” and it’s generally an all around good time. 

Location (5/5) – You won’t find a better location for a strip club than right in the heart of Bourbon Street. 

Overall – Barely Legal is one of my three favorite French Quarter strip clubs (along with Hustler and the slightly superior Penthouse Club), but it’s not quite as good as my overall score would lead you to believe.  As I noted with regards to Hustler, Barely Legal manages to get a very high overall score by being solid across the board, but they don’t excel in any one area.  Still, as long as you’re going in with reasonable expectations for a tourist area strip club, you should have a good time here.