“This place is so dallas,” my friend said, looking up at the enormous chandelier dangling overhead. She and her husband had just navigated through the crowd to find me at the bar—though I wasn’t technically at the bar. I was hovering near it, since every seat was taken.
Felix Culpa, which opened in October in the old Victor Tangos location, is a scenester’s fantasy. A row of small chandeliers sparkled over the bar area. Fake foliage crept along the ceilings, and images of iconic actresses blowing bubble-gum bubbles hung on the exposed-brick walls. Footage of fish slithering through the blue abyss played on a screen behind the lounge area. Almost everyone was Instagram-ready. And there was no shortage of Champagne.
Or headpieces. Eating dinner at a booth at the back: a group decked out in crowns and tiaras, assembled like a royal court around a woman in a super-shiny dress. Near the door: six ladies sporting cat ears.
“It’s her birthday,” one told me, pointing at her friend. “She likes cats, and we’re supporting that.”
The DJ played “Billie Jean” and a woman wearing a unicorn horn danced nearby. My friends and I contemplated which headpieces we should force each other to wear for our respective birthdays. We ordered a mix of mules and martinis, then stood awkwardly near the bar as waiters squeezed past. When the cat ladies abandoned their post near the door, we rushed to claim it.
After a while, though, we got tired of the fizz of Champagne sparklers and snapping of Instagram photos and decided to finish our evening at a low-key dive bar nearby. There we agreed that the people-watching at Felix Culpa was fantastic, but if we ever went back on a Saturday night, we’d make a reservation.
And, of course, we’d coordinate our festive headpieces.