Mister Rich has a sculpture of a 1950s-style cartoon character near the entrance. It looks a little like Richie Rich. There’s a huge red bow tie over the bar and a neon dollar sign glowing near the DJ booth. It’s the kind of decor that needs a crowd to balance it out, keep it from teetering completely over the top.
I walked into the club around 11 pm on a Friday night. A big group of well-dressed men and women were dancing near the bar, but after a few minutes, they left—leaving the place nearly vacant. Lights flickered across the floor, and the black-clad bartenders milled around. As a remix of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” pounded overhead, two women with beers came in from the patio and looked around.
“At least with it this empty, we’re getting first-class service at the bar,” the blonde said sarcastically.
“It’ll be busy by midnight,” her friend promised.
“I don’t want to barhop,” the blonde said. “I wore a dress specifically for this club. I’m not going somewhere where I could be wearing a t-shirt.”
Since she wasn’t exactly swamped, I asked Rachel, one of the bottle service girls, about the club’s name.
“Mister Rich is Richie Rich all grown up,” she explained. She told me that people didn’t hit the club until after they’d been to dinner and other bars first. “They have to get in the right frame of mind,” Rachel said. “It’ll be busy soon.”
She was right: after a few minutes, people began to stream in. First, two guys, looking a little lost. Then two couples, the men in suit jackets and the women in bell-bottom jumpsuits. A group of six guys. Another couple. More dudes. Even more dudes. Soon the women who didn’t want to barhop were busy talking to two very stylish men.
By midnight, the music was louder, the floor was packed, and things were finally getting interesting.