Tomorrow night’s gay lounge Beige — at B Bar — will be the last after many years of twink schmoozing and celebrity drop-ins.
Here are my misty, water-colored memories of the bash:
Shockingly, in this age of bombardment via Twitter and Facebook, there wasn’t any promotion at all for Beige! There were no invites, no ads, and no reminders!
People just knew by gay osmosis to go there.
And it would really fill up in the summer with an indoor/outdoor mix of gay types — though the vast majority of them always seemed to be 32-year-old twinks who “worked in retail” and wore Marc Jacobs — sometimes literally.
It wasn’t much of a mix at all, but it was just enough of one — with drop-in surprises — to pave the way for some shocking happenings.
There was the night five years ago when a big club’s Halloween party got closed down, so the crazy clubbie crowd swarmed down to Beige, mixing with the moussed twinks and creating quite a festive circus.
I’ll also never forget the time I spotted race-car driver Jeff Gordon and entourage, who had wandered into B Bar on the wrong night and were gradually figuring that out.
Promoter Erich Conrad — who did the event, originally with glamorous Edwige Belmore — gave me lots of stories for a 1998 column on Beige, which will be in my next book.
He told me that back in the day, when the cast of Beverly Hills 90210 was improbably there, all fighting, the DJ started playing high school marching band music as some kind of comment.
He also relayed the bit about how a PETA rep allegedly went up to someone there, soon after Princess Di‘s death, and said, “Got any Di jokes?” It turned out to be Di’s stepbrother!
But since Beige brimmed with attitude, so many of the cute guys there ended up going home alone. In fact, I think I’m the only one who ever got picked up there!
As time went on, the elaborate free dinners and drink tickets became scaled back, and sometimes even the hostess could only get you a comp soda by sweet-talking the bartender.
That’s when I knew the writing was on the bathroom wall (where, by the way, there’s a photo of me from the ’80s! I peed many a night while staring at my younger visage).
But it wasn’t the economy that killed Beige. It was the complaints from neighbors, who don’t like noise.
Please! I don’t like their noise.
Photo: Alex Geana
P.S.: Here’s the Times piece on Beige, which I was quoted in.