So much time has passed since my last post, but so little has changed… let’s get into it, shall we?
What’s New at Visions Men’s Club?
For starters, the $20 dances are crap now. As many Visions loyalists already know, there is now a strict (well, as strict as it gets at Visions) “no touching” policy in the regular lap dance room. The VIP rooms (the $30 rooms) are basically what the $20 dances used to be. I noticed the bouncer in the VIP area was a little more active than I remember. Walking up and down the aisle every so often … bad vibe.
From what I can gather, this rule was motivated by profit, not some law enforcement crackdown. It sucks, though. Visions’ calling card was always getting affordable dances with decent contact. You weren’t out $100+ dollars after three dances like you were on Bourbon Street. Yeah, $30 for dances is still less than most places on Bourbon (most are $40/song), but this move still feels kinda cheap. And as much as I don’t want to question management’s decision-making ability, I feel this rule could have unintended consequences.
First, it could hurt dancers’ income. Regular lap dances have basically become $20 “air dances” – no touching either way. Who wants that? Penthouse and Rick’s Cabaret both have $20 dance options, but even Penthouse allows the dancers to touch the customers. Rick’s, if I remember correctly, doesn’t. But that’s because the clientele at Rick’s is starkly different than Visions. Visions depends on its regulars. Rick’s is a tourist trap with customers who throw money around stupidly. They don’t know any better. Back to the point … dancers have basically been put into a situation where they have to up-sell for VIP dances. In the VIP rooms, they keep $25 of the $30 (the other $5 goes to the house); they keep 100% of regular lap dance money. So if a customer has $60 to spend on dances, he can do three regular dances for $60 (where the dancers makes $60) or two VIP dances for $60 (where the dancer makes $50).
On crowded nights, it doesn’t matter; they’ll have plenty of customers lining up to buy dances. But for Sunday-Wednesday nights, and for any girls that work the day shift, that’s not good news. Most of Visions’ regulars come with a budget. They’re not going to start withdrawing more cash to do pricier VIP dances – they’re going to cut down on dances.
And it goes without saying that this sucks for customers. Visions was a great locals club because you could get a decent amount of dances without breaking the bank. $100 used to get you five quality dances; now it gets you three quality dances. Visions was the kind of club that you could visit once per week if you wanted to, since drinks were cheaper than on Bourbon (still not cheap, though), parking was free, and dances were well priced. They’re slowly moving away from that.
Wait – Club Eden Underwent Renovation?
That’s right. They’ve made it look more like a regular nightclub. They put in a new light display for the main stage, redid the entrance of the club with glass doors, and reduced a lot of the clutter. The bar looks the same. Same old chairs and tables, but they’re in good condition so that doesn’t matter. It’s not Penthouse, but it’s a little more chic than your typical strip club. Oh, and they FINALLY got an actual main stage, with a real stripper pole (not a support beam). The stage is nice … similar to what you’d see at Barely Legal or Deja Vu. Long, oval shaped … elevated but with good views from the stage seats, and pretty well lit. Unfortunately, most of the stage shows are pretty dull. It’s not like Bourbon where the girls will come up to you and pop their ass an inch away from your face.
The selling point of Club Eden, for customers, is the almost nonexistent hustle. There’s basically no pressure from the strippers to buy dances, no pressure from the shot girl to buy shots, the waitresses don’t enforce a one-drink minimum … it’s pleasant. Maybe that attracts cheapskates, but plenty of people who spend money don’t like to be bothered.
I went on Tuesday night, which may be the most crowded night besides Friday. Tuesday is $2 drink specials, so you save money there. And there was a decent crowd. Most clubs on Tuesday night, especially now, are hit or miss. Visions is liable to be dead on a Tuesday night, as are many Bourbon Street clubs. The dancers, overall, are average to above average. Yeah, there are a couple that most men wouldn’t find attractive, but there are four or five girls that could do well at most clubs; young, cute and very shapely. I visited again on Saturday night and found it was mostly the same girls from Tuesday. Less crowded, though. Seriously, how can you not be packed on Saturday night?
Here’s the bottom line on Club Eden: it’s the best you’re going to get from a Metairie strip club. The lap dances are tame by New Orleans standards. The VIP rooms are overpriced considering how little you’re likely to get. The dancers, I found, were mostly disinterested and apathetic; they act as if the dollars will come pouring in just because they work at a strip club. I don’t know if that’s from unmotivated dancers, overbearing management, or the general fear that Jefferson Parish will put an end to any and all strip clubs at the vaguest hint of something fun actually happening. The girls still have to wear pasties. This place is one step above being a bikini bar. It’s too bad … parking is easy, the neighborhood is safe, and the staff there won’t annoy the crap out of you like the staff at Bourbon clubs. I just can’t give a good recommendation to Club Eden. It’s boring – and that’s the worst thing you can say about a strip club.