What were your crimes the last time you ended up in the doghouse? Appreciating scantily-clad women? Staying out too late? Not emptying the dishwasher?
Vegas can't help you with that last one, but for the rest, Sin City has hit upon the perfect solution to staying out of the doghouse -- CatHouse.
CatHouse opened (with something closer to a roar than a meow) just in time for New Year's Eve 2008. After a quick, month-long closure in March to fix structural issues, CatHouse landed back on its feet and lovingly sunk its claws right into the hearts of Vegas' most passionate clubbers.
But what does this have to do with you and navigating the perilous road of your beloved's ire? As it turns out -- a lot. The beauty of CatHouse lies in its universal appeal. Incidentally, the beauty of CatHouse also lies in actual beauty. CatHouse keeps on hand four "Coquettes," who are attractive and attractively-dressed (in CatHouse lingerie, no less) female dancers. But that's jumping ahead. To really understand what CatHouse can do for you, you need the whole picture.
Seth Yudof, one of CatHouse's co-owners, said in designing CatHouse, there were two ways they looked at what they were doing.
"A fanciful sexy environment is what we were going for," Yudof said.
This is evident in the space itself, which is decked out like a 19th century French bordello (think lots of deep reds). There are black and white antique photos adorning the walls that were clearly titillating and risqué back in the day and, despite today's broader scope of acceptable lewdness, remain so today. Iron corsets are tucked into display boxes throughout the venue (Billy Cross, CatHouse's owner, said many of the artifacts were scavenged though auctions on eBay).
A curving hallway (that actually leads to the bathrooms) is lined with "doors," that ostensibly open to the rooms of the brothel. In a testament to the successful execution of the bordello ambience, Cross said people often try to open the doors (which don't actually open). Also in that hallway is an added touch that sees a lot of traffic -- a CatHouse photo booth, for making yourself a souvenir.
DJs spin (mostly) house while Coquettes dance on elevated platforms. (And it's worth mentioning that, while the Coquettes dance where they do, guests dance just about anywhere.)
In addition to a weekly industry night, CatHouse's club also holds themed one-off events. As an example, in May, a Sugar Daddy contest was hosted by Tiffany Masters and challenged guests to see who could rack up the most bottles of Dom Perignon. John Anthony, CatHouse's assistant general manager, said two tables were neck and neck (at 23 and 24 bottles respectively) when, in the last moments, the table with 23 ordered six more to clinch the title.
With the ability to offer all these aspects of a Vegas night done right in one place, it's no wonder that Conde Nast Traveler named CatHouse one of its picks for "Hot Tables of 2008." But Cross lets CatHouse stand on its own merits, too.
"The best compliment is when you're packed every night," Cross said.
And just in case you hadn't figured it out, CatHouse does, in fact, draw in the crowds, which brings things back to keeping you out of the doghouse. All those things that got you in trouble before? They're available at CatHouse, but if your taskmaster is sitting right next to you, enjoying them, too, well, it's pretty hard for anyone to get mad. And that's the cat's meow.
-- Review by Jamie Helmick