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For mature audiences

Special to The Times

In response to the oft-asked question, “Where’s the party?” -- here’s one answer: It’s every Friday at Posh, a hot and soulful dance club at the Point Moorea Lounge.

The tropical downtown destination, located inside the stately Wilshire Grand Hotel, offers its mature clientele a place to dine and dance in comfort.

“We specialize in making people enjoy themselves,” says DJ Paradise, who co-promotes Posh with partner Monica Baker. “I like to call it stress release. Work, home, relationship, family -- you can forget all about it on our dance floor.”

One key aspect of Posh is its age limit. It’s one of the few clubs that requests that guests be at least 25 years old or older.

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“There’s a void in L.A. for people who are in their 30s and 40s,” says Paradise, whose real name is J. Fann. “There’s no place where an older clientele can go where you won’t party with your niece or your grandfather. So we started Posh to cater to upscale professionals who wacut loose.”

Judging by a recent visit, they’ve hit their target market. Unlike many hip-hop dance clubs, it’s not a meat market, but a scene that draws a well-heeled, largely black crowd that’s all about having a good and genteel time.

“You don’t deal with the young-uns who get drunk and throw up,” says Darlene Ortiz, who celebrated her birthday in February with a party at Posh.

“The people are older, classy and nice. And the DJ is excellent.”

“Posh makes you feel like you’re in a mature atmosphere but it’s not wound too tight,” says CeCe Counts, who dances at Posh each week.

The key ingredient to Posh’s fun is DJ Paradise’s turntable magic. A popular weekend DJ at the Beat 100.3 FM, Paradise specializes in old-school hip-hop and R&B.; He knows just what it takes to entice his guests onto the dance floor -- smart chunks of ‘70s and ‘80s soul mixed with top modern hip-hop hits. You’re just as likely to hear a George Clinton classic butt up against some Run-DMC and Doug E. Fresh, as you are a current hit from Snoop Dogg or Lil’ Jon.

And no matter how sweaty you get, each time you try to tear yourself away from the dance floor, he keeps pulling you back in. Like the time singer Teena Marie walked in with Rick James’ sister Penny, and Paradise busted out a Teena Marie-Rick James medley.

“I try to let people catch their breath by putting something on smooth and slow by D’Angelo or Faith Evans but then I just can’t help but crank it up with some crunk or funk,” Paradise says.

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Although the promoters tried a few Hollywood venues when they originally launched Posh a year ago, they settled into Point Moorea a couple of months ago for multiple reasons.

“We know downtown is on the brink of a major comeback and we didn’t want to be the last in, we wanted to be among the first,” says Baker, a marketing and advertising executive. “Right when you walk into Moorea, you can feel the energy. From the tiki decor to the three pool tables, three bars and VIP lounges, it’s a super flexible spot.”

The recently expanded club is a funky blend of island kitsch and comfortable sports bar, with loads of TVs for easy viewing.

But it’s very much a “hotel” club. It’s not trying to win any design awards. In fact, the color scheme is over the top and the patterns are dizzying -- Moorea mixes and matches tiger prints with reckless abandon. But the club is so functional and fun it doesn’t really matter. To wit, you can order food from three different menus -- Korean, Chinese and Italian, and Posh also invites folks to throw parties there for free (just call the hotline in advance to schedule a room). The club also has myriad nooks and crannies and private rooms, which offer a cool respite from the dance floor’s heat.

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Although the crowd is primarily black, people of all cultures can feel comfortable because Posh reflects what’s good about L.A. and its melting-pot society.

At Posh, you’re just as likely to see a Latino homeboy doing a slow-burn vato dance as you are a Chaka Khan look-alike getting “low.”

And for those who haven’t busted out their moves in awhile, Posh offers a nurturing return to movement with songs that dancers can recognize from their youth.

“The music is so wonderful,” Ortiz says. “You just don’t hear it old-school like this anywhere else.”

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Counts says Posh is the antithesis of a trendy Hollywood dance club.

“I never feel like, ‘I can’t walk down that way or I’ll get groped,’ ” Counts says. “You can actually have a nice dance with somebody, a nice conversation and that’s all. The guys are respectful here and I really appreciate that.”

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Heidi Siegmund Cuda can be reached at weekend@ latimes.com.

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Posh at the Point Moorea Lounge

Where: Wilshire Grand Hotel, 930 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; Point Moorea’s entrance is located at the corner of 7th and Figueroa streets

When: 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Fridays

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Price: $15 cover; hotel parking, $10 (or try the lot on 7th across from the hotel for $7). 25 and older recommended.

Info: (877) 743-POSH (7674); (213) 688-7777. Or www.blacknla.com.


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