Hollywood Club Crawl Reviews

With my sister and her husband in town this past weekend from Maine, we wanted to do the Hollywood clubbin’ thing without dealing with the actual Hollywood clubbin’ thing (read: velvet ropes, $20 covers, grumpy doormen and long lines).

My sister and I at Beauty Bar

Me + My siser at Beauty Bar

I don’t remember how I first heard about it, but we decided to do the Hollywood Club Crawl.  Here’s their official promotional pitch from their website:

Join us for a legendary night out in Hollywood!
Birthday Parties / Bachelorette Parties / Visiting Friends
celebrate with us! Travelers, Singles, come alone and party with the best!
Most clubs charge $20 each club and have you wait in line for up to an hour, join the Hollywood Club Crawl and experience Hollywood VIP style – no cover charges / no waiting in lines!
$15 covers the entire night! ($15 pre-sale / $20 at event)
We meet at 10 pm at the Beauty Bar in Hollywood – 1638 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
All clubs are a few blocks from each other on Hollywood Blvd and easily walkable as a group to party at each non stop all night!

Seems like a pretty good deal doesn’t it? We went out Saturday, August 28th, and the lineup was Beauty Bar, Ecco, The Music Box at the Henry Fonda, and Vanguard.  Though their website suggests that the lineup could change from week to week, it looks like it’s usually these four.

Online tickets were $15 plus a $2.45 service fee for each ticket totaling $17.45/pp in advance or $20 at the door.  Girls get a free shot at Beauty Bar to “start off the night right” – sexist, I know, but hey, I ain’t complaining.

The four of us arrived at Beauty Bar a little after 10 and there was a decent amount of people already there.  Jason, the organizer, was standing near the front checking off names and handing out wristbands. He was quite helpful and told us the plan for the night, saying we’ll be leaving at 10:30 (if I remember correctly) for Ecco.  There were also people who were paying the $20 for the Crawl there. I noticed at least two people who were just showing up to hang out at the Beauty Bar and left after they spotted Crawlers in line waiting to pay. They thought the Beauty Bar had a cover and immediately exited!

Speaking of which, I don’t think Beauty Bar usually has a cover or line, so hanging out there is something you could have done without the crawl.  There were a lot of girls there together all dressed up, and after our complimentary shots, we went next door to Ecco.  We did have to wait in line briefly at Ecco because there were a lot of us and they checked ID again (they checked ID everywhere we went even though we had wristbands). Once inside, the place had a good crowd and I really like the decor of Ecco (it used to be Tokio, a Japanese restaurant).  Jason told us we would be leaving for The Music Box at 11:30 so we had an hour.  Our group didn’t really mingle with anyone else. We danced a little but the four of us agreed that the DJ was very inconsistent.  He would get you pumped with a high-energy song and then the next song would be totally different and zapped the energy and vibe he had just built!

At 11:30, Jason found all of us and we walked to The Music Box which is located in the Henry Fonda Theater.  Their website says “all clubs are a few blocks from each other on Hollywood Blvd and easily walkable as a group” but I will have to disagree here.  Personally, I didn’t think the walk was a big deal. I walk a lot and I often walk 30 to 45 minutes at a time.  However, my sister in her stileto boots and a lot of other girls in their high heels were falling behind.  According to Google Maps, it’s about 0.4 miles which is nothing for me but was a bit of an ordeal for others.

After the 8-minute or so walk, we got into The Music Box quickly and had until 12:45.  The Box is very big with a couple levels and a nice outdoor roof deck where we lounged for a bit.  The DJ here was similar to the DJ at Ecco so we didn’t dance as much as we would have liked to.

At 12:45, we all gathered together (those of us who wanted to anyway, forgot to mention that you can choose to stay where you are if you want) and walked to Vanguard down the street.  Vanguard had a different vibe in that there was more security and the men were frisked while women’s purses were searched.  There’s really nothing all that special to the inside of Vanguard and it reminded me of a big warehouse.  There were a lot of people inside dancing though and Jason told us that it was the last stop of the night and we could stay til closing, which I think we did before walking the few blocks home.

So what’s my overall impression of the Hollywood Club Crawl and would I recommend it?

Pros
If you don’t want to go clubbin’ solo or are not sure where to go, this is a good choice.
It was very organized and Jason was attentive and informative.
After paying for the Crawl, you don’t have to pay other covers and have to wait in line just long enough for the group to move in.
A good way to break the ice and talk to others if that’s your thing.

Cons
There was no real socialization or introduction so if you’re not one to initiate, don’t depend on the event to do that for you.
Walking may be an issue for some people, especially girls in heels.
I’m not 100% convinced that those places would generally have a cover or line to begin with. Beauty Bar is the type of place you can just walk in and hang out and I didn’t notice a line for the others.
I wasn’t impressed with any of the DJs.
The drinks at all the places were SUPER expensive! I am use to going to Dillons and other bars and paying $3 – $6 for drinks. Beers were $7 at most of the places and mixed drinks were through the roof!  We spent a lot of cash on drinks.

Conclusion
I would consider doing the Hollywood Club Crawl again if the line-up was different.  I see an upcoming Friday crawl has Kress and the Cabana Club and those two venues usually do have a pretentious door and cover. However, I’m sure their drink prices are also through the roof and being a drinker, I don’t want to deal with that. I would recommend the Hollywood Club Crawl if you’re just visiting L.A., have friends in town or you’re part of a big group for a special event like a bachelorette’s party or something. It is an easy way to do the Hollywood clubbin’ thing but bear in mind that the Hollywood thing includes overpriced drinks.

The important part is that my sister and her husband enjoyed it. It was an easy way for them to experience the Hollywood nightlife before heading back to Maine.  She definitely gives it a good review aside from the walking part and the DJs.  As for me, I’ll stick to $3 drinks at Dillons and dancing to the jukebox at the Frolic.