First look at the Argyle Hollywood, a raging nightclub with a craft cocktail den

Cocktail marshmallows, smoked Negronis at the Argyle Hollywood, a nightclub with a cocktail den

The Argyle Hollywood, a new nightclub and cocktail bar hybrid is slated to open Tuesday. The venue, located in the former Tru nightclub space at the corner of Selma and Argyle, will have a nightclub upstairs, an outdoor bar and a cocktail den downstairs that serves libations and small plates. 

Two large mirrored Art Deco doors open from the sidewalk into a small entrance area. If you choose to go left, you enter the nightclub. You know you're in Hollywood, but if there were a Great Gatsby-themed nightclub in Vegas, this would be it.

There's a large dance floor in the middle surrounded by snakeskin booths for bottle service each with their own Art Deco decorative panels. When you look up, the ceiling is covered in colored lights and a large black chandelier. In the back corner, a two-story VIP area with a booth below and another seating area up a short flight of shimmering stairs. 

When you need to take a break from the nightclub, or grab a drink before you start dancing, you can head to the right of the main entrance. The room darkens as you head down a flight of stairs into Argyle's cocktail den. A small seating area features leather couches with a bookcase full of books, a clock and a vintage trophy. There's a mock fireplace with candles and you may have to blink a few times before you realize you're not in your great-grandfather's study circa 1920.

"Upstairs there is a rager with table service and a high-end boutique night club," said Travis Bass, who previously worked with Drai's Management Group along with partner James Anderson. The two joined forces with Peter and George Younan of the Tru Hospitality group.

"Downstairs in the craft cocktail lounge, you can take a breather and actually talk to the person you're with," Bass said. "We wanted a 1920s speakeasy down here, but upscale in London or Paris with no Prohibition."

Chris Hewes, known for his innovative cocktails and distaste for simple syrup at the Roosevelt's Library Bar, is heading up the cocktail program. He's doing his twist on classic drinks as well as a few cocktail marshmallows. Expect to see smoking Negronis, Manhattans and Old Fashioneds, sweet and savory cocktail marshmallows and a "surfer on acid" jello shot with pineapple and absinthe. 

"Down here we want people to slow down drinking a little and really think about the flavors," hewes said. "When you order a bottle of something, that's a lot of alcohol. You can have a cocktail consultation, it's not just about pounding back as much as possible." 

Hewes will change the cocktail menu frequently but really wants people to have a conversation with him about what they want. There will be a smoked cocktail, cocktail marshmallows and some variety of fruity drink to order at one of the tables. But Hewes wants people to come up to the bar for something special. 

"You are the menu," Hewes said. 

The food menu is still being decided, but Anderson stressed wanting to have small bites that complemented the cocktails with various skewers and bruschetta. He also plans to arrange for visiting chefs and mixologists to take over the kitchen and bar for limited or extended pop-ups. 

The Argyle Hollywood cocktail den will be open Tuesday and Saturday from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., and the nightclub will be open Tuesday and Saturday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Beginning Sept. 12, the den and nightclub will be open Fridays as well. 

1600 Argyle Ave., Hollywood, (310) 905-4793,

I've got moves like Jagger. Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris


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