Mid­dle-aged and fab­u­lous

GA Voice - - Black Gay Pride - By BILL KAELIN

I may be get­ting older, and I don’t go out like I used to, but I still crave a night of good mu­sic, amaz­ing cock­tails and peo­ple watch­ing. If I could go out and do shots of fire­ball, smoke cig­a­rettes and party un­til last call, I would be the first in line, but the hard fact is that the older you get, the harder it is to re­cover.

Re­cently a cou­ple of my “mid­dle-aged” friends and I fi­nally fig­ured out how to get all the ben­e­fits of go­ing to the club with­out feel­ing like crud the next day. Mary’s in East At­lanta was throw­ing a birth­day party for Madonna, and if any­thing was go­ing to get me out of the house, it was go­ing to be that bitch. Start­ing with a quick pre-cock­tail at the house around 8 pm, we then took a short Uber ride to East At­lanta that placed us at a per­fect spot right at the bar by 9:30. Bar­tender Marky Hatch served us some good stiff drinks with sweet smiles while the mu­sic and video mix­ing by DJ Di­ablo Rojo was pure per­fec­tion. I had a buzz by 10:30, and we were hav­ing a blast just watch­ing ev­ery­one fil­ter in­side. Madonna-Rama is like a gay na­tional hol­i­day, and since the early birds al­ways get the worm, we still had the best spot right at the bar, even though there was a line of peo­ple wait­ing out­side the door. The Madonna mad­ness con­tin­ued un­til around mid­night, when the three of us looked at each other and, with­out say­ing a word, knew it was time to “Take A Bow.” I was tipsy, had lots of laughs and lis­tened to great mu­sic, but I was ready to lie in my bed by 12:30.

The same strat­egy worked per­fectly one week later, when at 8 p.m. sharp we de­cided to check out the brand sexy new spot in West Midtown called “Lit­tle Trou­ble.” The name it­self sounded like it was the per­fect place for me; af­ter all, I am al­ways look­ing for some trou­ble, just a lit­tle less than I used to.

Lit­tle Trou­ble is a stun­ning spot on the lower level of the White Pro­vi­sions build­ing. Cre­ated by Caleb Wheelus and Ian Jones, the team be­hind lo­cal fa­vorite hot spot Vic­tory, it is inspired by the iconic science fic­tion film, Blade Run­ner. Lit­tle

“Re­cently a cou­ple of my ‘mid­dle-aged’ friends and I fi­nally fig­ured out how to get all the ben­e­fits of go­ing to the club with­out feel­ing like crud the next day. Mary’s in East At­lanta was throw­ing a birth­day party for Madonna, and if any­thing was go­ing to get me out of the house, it was go­ing to be that bitch.”

Trou­ble makes you feel like you are in another city or quite pos­si­bly another planet. The en­trance sets the tone with a long dark cor­ri­dor that leads you to a mys­te­ri­ous, red neon sculp­ture that se­duces you through the doors. Noth­ing is what it seems in the space where the win­dows are like walls and the walls are like con­trol pan­els steer­ing the mother ship.

Cock­tails and con­ver­sa­tions are en­cour­aged with plenty of seat­ing, a killer drink menu and a fu­tur­is­tic, cin­e­matic, elec­tronic sound­track that’s played at the per­fect vol­ume. The crowd is eclec­tic, in­ter­est­ing and sexy, and the pan-Asian food menu cre­ated by Chef Melissa Allen is ex­cep­tional and per­fect to share. The ston­ers at my ta­ble were los­ing their minds over the pork rinds driz­zled with lo­cal honey. They were the per­fect bal­ance of salty and sweet, and all I could think of was how they would have made Ria Pell proud. I was so trans­ported that I hadn’t even re­al­ized I was on my fourth de­li­cious Ros­alita cock­tail made with te­quila and Aperol by Mid­night and re­al­ized it was prob­a­bly time to head home while I could still walk. Lit­tle Trou­ble is ex­actly what Midtown and my mid­dle-aged self needed, and I am so thank­ful to have fig­ured out a way to still go out on the town with­out clos­ing the bars down.

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