The latest concept in Los Angeles nightlife, Skybark is an open-air club for pooches and their parents—casual-stylish dress, limited bar, off-leash. Though currently only occurring on special occasions and holidays, it launched in Boston and New York in 2007, and will likely go monthly in LA.
As the owner of a 65-pound chow named Rocky, I'm always looking for dog-friendly places and dog-friendly men. So I determined to check it out, even though Rocky's not much of a partier, truth be told.
We arrived without incident on a red carpet outside a downtown warehouse. While Rocky peed all over the velvet rope, a clipboard-wielding bouncer found my name on The List, then escorted us to the rooftop patio.
My girlfriends had decided against attending when they realized this party wasn't at SkyBar. But honestly, it was no different than Skybar or the Standard or any of LA's other rooftop hangouts. Except friendlier. And with dogs absolutely everywhere. European house music issued from the turntables; the city skyline twinkled in the late dusk. Three Samantha Jones types sashayed around, German Shepherds in tow. A platinum blonde chatted with two WB-looking brunets and a pinstripe-wearing Asian boy, while their various mixed breeds tussled at their feet. Over at the bar, several Botoxed women fed melon and vegetables to their handbag dogs. A Great Dane wreaked havoc on the dance floor.
Sadly, just as a guy said hello, Rocky was set upon by a pack of pastel-colored miniature poodles—fuschia, blue, white, and orange—tried to run away, bumped into a wolf, panicked, got his nose caught in the elevator door, and collapsed in a heap in the corner, refusing to move for the rest of the night. Which didn't last long.
Even so, Skybark gets my vote for New Millenium mix-and-mingle concept. Dogs provide all the conduits for social exchange: conversation starters, common ground, excuses to bounce if/when you need to.
And if your dog is a nervous, claustrophobic basket case like mine, you can bring your neighbor's Pomeranian instead.