Posting will be sporadic here until mid September. I welcome submissions from guest posters during that time. Today's post is a review of two new Pomona businesses, written by previous contributor to the blog: Pride in Garfield Park. Please keep in mind that the Locust Lounge has only done a "soft opening," so let's give them more time to get it right. Here's the mic, Pride:
"Wanted: A Manhattan in Pomona
Thank you to all the Pomona bloggers for providing hometown news and perspectives during my 11 weeks out of town; your efforts are noticed and appreciated. My happy return to Pomona was made all the happier by the welcome sight of new businesses downtown.
With plans to enjoy cocktails before art, Stewmungous and I stopped by the Locust Lounge (205 E. 2nd) during last night’s Art Walk. The open floor plan revealed a mid-size dance floor, a DJ loft, and a mezzanine VIP lounge for party goers. We were there much too early to check out the late-night dance scene, but the sex-determined cover charge – men pay, women don’t – suggests a meat market experience reminiscent of my college days.
Photo taken by Richard E. Nunez.
We pulled up two seats near the window and ordered a Manhattan and a White Russian. While waiting for our drinks to arrive, we flipped through the menu. Although the descriptions sounded appealing enough, the prices seem too high for the area; perhaps the owner didn’t see Chef Gordon Ramsay’s critique of the way-over-priced-and-now-closed Lela’s on 2nd and Main during a November 2007 episode of Kitchen Nightmares. The very kind and engaging server returned a few moments after we placed our order to let us know the supposedly full bar hadn’t yet stocked Kahlua, hence no White Russian; hubby changed his drink order to a Diet Coke. She returned a few minutes later to let me know the bar also lacked sweet vermouth for the Manhattan. At this point we decided to leave our people-watching post and head over to dBa 256 for a glass of wine (and then art, really).
En route to dBa we happened across a flyer announcing the opening of The Brick Nightclub. This message excited me for three reasons. First, I heard about the coming of the club over ten months ago; that’s a lot of waiting, and I’m not a particularly patient person. Second, I peaked inside the space back in May as a work crew entered the door right as I walked by. It already looked stunning; I imagined the finished project would be even more so. Third, I was thirsty.
The Brick Nightclub, located at 340 Thomas Street, was all I had hoped it would be: a beautifully designed space decorated with posh furniture and inviting hues, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and (…must…have…cocktail) a truly fully stocked bar. When I ordered the Manhattan, the bartender asked me if I wanted it perfect, dry, or standard. I didn’t know such variations existed (come to find out, my “usual” is the standard mix of bourbon, sweet vermouth, and bitters). So, in addition to receiving a fabulous cocktail, I also received a bit of education. All that – and the White Russian – for a very reasonable $9.
Three zones grace the upstairs portion of the club: the bar, a dining/drinking area with typical restaurant tables, and a lounge. The lounge houses a multitude of cozy conversation areas – trendy couches, throw pillows, and mushroom stools for flexible seating. Very chill. The downstairs, made visible from the upstairs by the industrial loft design of the joint, boasts a huge dance floor, more conversation areas, and – get this – a huge fish tank that is home to a small shark.
I’ll be curious to see if food will be served regularly at The Brick Nightclub. Last night they offered hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and hot dogs (all for under $5). Perhaps these offerings were just for the soft opening, or maybe we will be able to look forward to hearty nibbles before hitting the dance floor for months to come. Here again, we were much too early to check out the dance scene. My fingers are crossed they’ll play house and electronica beats, but the 80s remix tunes they played last night suggests I may be left wanting on this front.
Although I’ll definitely give the Locust Lounge a second chance to impress, my strong suspicion is The Brick Nightclub will become my new watering hole. See you there.
(Oh yes, we did make it to a few art galleries…eventually)."
And here is the rest of it.