Located near Leicester Square in London, DSTRKT is a night club dominated by late-20s to late-30s white and rich clientele. That is was one of many observations I made during the evening because, to be totally honest, the whole experience was so new to me that I was really happy to just observe my surroundings.
DSTRKT is a part night club, part restaurant which seems to act as the after-party for certain celebrity clients including Jay-Z. They have recently remodeled their night-club, and myself and a guest were invited to attend the launch. Upon entering, my guest and I were given a free cocktail each in the restaurant area. I had been promised 'lots of food and drink', and, not knowing what that meant, I asked if we were going to be seated for dinner. No, apparently; I was told that the launch party was in the night club only and we were directed to the correct area. They lost a point on that one because there was no clarity in the invitation about restaurant versus night club.
They did, however, gain points on the decor. The night-club is laid out so that a small runway dominates the center. Booths and tables surround the runway and then more booths sit along the entire edge of the room. The ceiling was decorated with artistic metal rods and the lighting was a classy combination of candles and dim ceiling lights and lamps. My guest and I found some seats along the edge and waited to see what sort of entertainment, food, and drink might be provided.
The first act on the runway stage was a female band made up of a singer, a guitarist, and a saxophone player. The three women were dressed in outlandish caped costumes and playing what I'll describe as a mix of punk rock and alternative music. Following a break, the second act was an interpretive dancer who danced in the same slow, wavy style for a good twenty minutes to half hour. After another break came the entertainment which claims DSTRKT as its home. This was a group of costumed entertainers: some of the women wore feathered tails which reminded me strongly of Las Vegas showgirls and the men were dressed in shiny, somehow modern Renaissance attire. Rather than performing an act, one of the men introduced a chic, pale-painted woman who danced along to a light show which appeared behind her back on a temporary screen. I couldn't tell if she somehow choreographed her odd dance to the lighting design, but, either way, it was intriguing.
All of the entertainment in combination with the decor reminded me of a blockbuster movie, and, yes I'll admit my naivety, I never considered if such places actually exist. Once I was accustomed to the new, very foreign environment, my guest and I began making observations about the clientele. Most of them were, ourselves included, white and in their late-20s or early 30s, and most, ourselves included, primarily treated the entertainment as background noise. The focus was on the group that you came with. The club left very little room for mingling with strangers, although, we did discover one 40-somthing gentleman with dreadlocks who was desperate to pick up a lady. We watched him go from woman to woman, oddly carrying two drinks in his hands (and drinking both of them) at all times. With every woman he was rejected. Near the end of the evening, we watched him attempt to chat up one of the few older women, probably 50-something, and, there too, he was kindly rejected. Poor guy.
While all of this was going on, I was starving and I kept having to act like a cat, pouncing on an tray of food I saw carried by a waiter. The lack of customer service was appalling. The waiters only brought the canapés to the same two tables and by the time those two tables had their fill, there was no food left for the rest of the us. I took to watching the door so that as soon as a waiter would enter, I could walk up to him and ask him for a the small bowl of overly-salted mushroom risotto or the cream-cheese veggie crackers whose crackers were not even close to crunchy. The only food that tasted delicious were the mini-burgers. Those were succulent, juicy, and perfect. Unfortunately I only got one and it was one I had to hunt down.
Eventually I saw managers directing the waiters to other tables, but the damage had been done. I had been promised 'lots of food and drink' and they did not deliver. Apparently, we were only supped to get one free drink upon entering, which I got and it tasted average. Plus, I shouldn't have to work that hard to get my food, and when I do get it, it should taste better.
I enjoyed the evening, but more because it was a new experience for me and less because I felt I was valued as a potential customer. Decor was excellent, entertainment was interesting, but customer service was terrible.