There's a new lounge in town and it involves a confession booth, Hollywood nightlife royalty and an invite-only VIP area -- as in don't even think about trying to buy your way past the velvet rope.
It's called Confession, and it's the newest nightlife venture by Sunset Entertainment Group founders Chis Breed and Alan Hajjar (White Lotus, Green Door, and the Sunset Room) and promoter Robert Kennedy.
Enter off McCadden Place in Hollywood and step up to one of two entrances. If you're a model, celebrity or taste-maker, the VIP entrance to the right is for you. Gen. pop enters through the left.
Make your way into a small back bar where there's a five-seat bar, wooden tables and chairs, Edison bulbs fixed into long black pipes, a stage for live entertainment and a back patio. This is where chef Emilio Molina (Pig 'n Whistle) will serve truffle macaroni and cheese, meatball sliders, bacon-wrapped shrimp and crispy potato nachos to the VIP crowd and those lucky enough to snag a table.
And at the bar, craft cocktails by Frederic Vial, a tall, well-dressed Italian man from Osteria Mozza and Ysabel. He's making a bloody Mary, called Pinga Mary, with Sagatiba Cachaca rum, Aperol, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, sun dried tomato and muddled basil, garnished with crispy pancetta, red bell pepper and cracked pepper. And his Negroni Matto uses Crop Tomato organic vodka instead of the classic gin, Campari, Carpano Antica Vermouth with Free Brothers grapefruit bitters, garnished with cucumber and a grapefruit twist.
If you're looking for a little more action, more decibels and a dance floor, make your way through a dark hallway, where you can say a prayer at a candlelit altar before entering the main bar. You'll noticed it looks an awful lot like the Pig 'n Whistle. That's because it is. Confession will operate out of the classic Hollywood venue Monday, Friday and Saturday nights.
"As Pig 'n Whistle dies off around 9 p.m., we thought, we're sitting on this great little gem," said Breed. "The Pig 'n Whistle is still the Pig 'n Whistle by day, it's just Confession by night."
In one corner of the lounge, the Confession booth, where you can confess your sins, take photos and send them directly to Twitter. All of Vial's cocktails will be available at the bar and there's ample seating at booths and tables.
"I thought it should have an old church feel and I wanted people to go in and confess they had a good time," said Kennedy. "There are no crosses or anything like that, but we wanted that feel to it."
In the back corner a spiral staircase leads up to the VIP area where Kennedy, known for his exclusive guest lists at Mood, Voyeur, Greystone Manor, AV and 1Oak LA, will hand-pick who ascends the stairs into a white and gold oasis behind the DJ.
Kennedy says the VIP area is strictly for celebrities and taste-makers. You won't be able to buy a booth or a table.
"When we closed the Sunset Room, the VIP trend was gone," said Hajjar. "Now it's coming back."
And in the VIP area, a mirrored bathroom Breed says he made at the request of Paris Hilton.
Confession will open June 5, and will be open from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday, Friday and Saturday.
1666 McCadden Place, Hollywood, www.confessionla.com.
To the paparazzi: My left side is my good side. Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_