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Wetherbee's was definitely the best stop of the night. After paying a $5 cover, we entered a more laid-back atmosphere. The décor is diveish, with two pool tables to one side and dark-brown walls. A diamond-shaped mirror and blue and hot-pink neon accents recalled the '80s, as did the padded bar. A display case featured wooden houses and a stuffed bear dressed in leather-daddy gear.
We got our bottled beer (cash only; the complex credit card system would have involved a $2 transaction fee), staked out spots and watched DJ Hollywood, who was getting down on the dance floor. One man was getting into his partner, in that his striped shirt was half off, displaying his muscle in an elaborate mating ritual that would've met the approval of anthropologist Desmond Morris. Less sexay was the cell phone wedged into the top of a tube top.
In a semi-hidden nook, we encountered a few make-out couples. One woman was sitting on a bar stool, leaning back against the wall and looking provocatively at her male companion, who stood between her legs. Their nether regions were fused together, and they were practically doing it right there.
That raised an interesting point, though. We thought Wetherbee's was a gay bar. Indeed, rainbow-colored paraphernalia and a sign in the bathroom for drag king and queen nights attested to that fact. However, during our visit, the bar definitely drew a more mixed crowd. We met 28-year-old Shon, a nattily dressed guy in an orange sweater with a blue-and-orange plaid shirt underneath. Actually, we had to step around him because he was cuddling with 22-year-old LaToya against a pillar. After we introduced ourselves, Shon hugged all of us. They'd met at Orlando's 21 the week before, they said. Ah, young luv.
We also started chatting with Rosco, a mountainous 32-year-old in a jacket with a fur-lined hood. He's a producer with Autumn Wind records, which specializes in hip-hop. Then there was 28-year-old Santiago, who was sitting in the back with his buddy, 37-year-old Roberto. Santiago was sporting sunglasses, with a spike coming out of his upper chin. He and Roberto said they didn't speak English very well, but they did manage to tell us that they were there every Saturday night and knew a lot of people there.
Probably the most energetic person we encountered was a guy who gave his name as Char-Lee he told us to spell it that way "because I'm Asian!" He and his friend, 29-year-old Katy, work at one of the casinos. They had just been to a lame party and decided to go out to a place with more people.
Why was the party bad? "It was a pimps and hos party, and there were too many pimps and not enough hos," Katy explained. Yeah, we hate it when the pimp-to-ho ratio is off.
"Hey, if you want my phone number, you should just ask for it," flirty Char-Lee said. We passed on that and moved back to the bar for one more drink before last call.