Singer Lance Bass gave West Hollywood nightlife a taste of the new Heart WeHo dance club last night, officially taking over the historic space of Rage nightclub. Heart WeHo had a very sweet opening for friends and family by invitation only. WEHO TIMES made the cut and we’re here to report that 8911 Santa Monica Boulevard is back and the dance floor was packed.
Unlike last weekend, when Heart WeHo opened its doors to the public for the very first time for a Disney show production of “Happily Ever After” by Team Cyclepaths to benefit their fundraising efforts for AIDS/LifeCycle 2022, this weekend was all about the dance floor. There were no chairs parked on the dance floor. It was wall-to-wall people staring at their phones and taking selfies to a dance beat.
The evening promised a surprise DJ. DJ Jarec came in and played circuit music all night, but keep in mind that night was a practice session.
At one point in the night, Lance Bass paid homage to the history of space by presenting Sia Amiri, the founder of Rage, with a Rage Restaurant & Bar plaque that will hang at the new Heart WeHo dance club.
“One of the moments I’m most proud of,” Amiri’s son Kian Amiri (aka Morningstar DJ) posted on his Facebook page. “My dad, who until now has received no credit for literally building WeHo, for kickstarting WeHo’s nightlife when he created Rage in 1983, for providing a safe space for generations of LGBTQ beauties (then later created Krave – the first and only LGBTQ club on the LV strip), for LOBBYING WEST HOLLYWOOD TO BECOME ITS OWN INDEPENDENT CITY (that was my pop), to whom every bar owes its gratitude, gets its moment Thanks to Paul [Nichols], Lance and all of Rocco’s family for paying tribute to him. The fact that he is immortalized on the walls of this place means more than I can describe. Full circle. Go heart!”
So, what is our assessment of Heart WeHo?
As we reported here earlier, the creators of Heart have retained the integrity of the old rage space, so not much has been done in terms of redevelopment. We still have the downstairs area upstairs with a front and back bar. The upstairs living room has a more exclusive feel than the old space (you needed a wristband to hang from the balconies on either side). The bar area at the back is equipped with selfie stands (a sign of the times). Also keep an eye out for the overhead lighting system. They have a hydraulic system that moves up and down in waves, which makes you feel dizzy if you’re not ready for the ceiling to crash down on you.
It’s not vertigo. The ceiling does not move. It’s just Heart Weho’s new lighting system in the upstairs bar. #wehotimes #wehonews #weho #wehocity #wehonightlife #gayweho #coeurweho pic.twitter.com/Iws5tvEVrU
— WEHO TIMES (@WEHO_TIMES) February 7, 2022
There are many upgrades to the Heart WeHo Dance Club, and clearly no cost has been spared with a state-of-the-art sound system and light show that can only rival the WeHo. de Rocco across the street (same owners). A new ticket office has been built with attention to detail on the glass tiling. The dividing wall that separated the dance floor from the main Rage bar is now gone, so the dance section spills out onto the bar. There are also large leather booths for bottle services near the dance floor, main bar, and upstairs areas.
Aside from the lighting, we got a lot of weird requests about the toilets. What do they look like? Are they unisex? Are the urinals open or do they have dividers? Is it one big bathroom now, instead of two? Will it still be cruising?
The integrity of the washrooms is also maintained, but enhanced with glossy black tiles. They are now gender-neutral under a new West Hollywood City Ordinance passed last year, which more or less states that all new businesses must have inclusive restrooms and not be gender-prescriptive. There are seven urinals and a disabled toilet as before in the old men’s toilets. And yes, there are booths at each urinal, so you can’t watch your neighbor anymore, and you can’t watch the birds from the reflection of the mirrors. These urinal stalls are tight, so if you want more space, maybe use the toilet next door which also has the same footprint as it did before, but much sleeker (the old toilet for Women had an attendant, and they were crowded, so we didn’t really go inside).
The new Heart WeHo Dance Club will open next weekend, Friday, February 11, 2022. There’s bound to be a line wrapping around the corner.