The Inland Empire feels that Vegas vibe

WHILE the Inland Empire isn’t known for copious night life, enterprising clubs such as Sevilla are sending a message to locals: “You don’t have to head to Hollywood for Friday night fun.” The Latin-inspired venue in Old Town Riverside entices clubgoers to stay in the neighborhood -- and forgo burning that precious gas money -- by offering big-name headliners and L.A. atmosphere, without the $13 vodka tonics.

“I think there’s a very good-looking crowd here,” manager Miguel Baeza says, surveying the scene on a recent Friday at his portion of the Sevilla franchise (there are locations in Long Beach and San Diego). “I think the Inland Empire is a phenomenal area.”

The venue sports an even-farther-inland look: U-shaped private booths, glowing blue and green lights, and bars accented with metal working give the Sonora-style club a Vegas vibe.


And to up the ante, promoters are bringing in big names -- on Friday, DJ Vice, who has residencies at club LAX at the Luxor, Pure at Caesars Palace and regular stints in Hollywood, jets in to spin at Riverside. Says Baeza: “Right now this genre is getting so much momentum it only makes sense to bring in one of the top names.”

Although away from the lights of the strip, DJ Vice’s set at Sevilla won’t skimp on the glam. A colorful party complete with black lights, glow sticks, fire-breathers and scantily clad dancers covered in UV paint will be part of the spectacle. It’s in keeping with many of the promotions at the club, which include lingerie nights, foam parties and house DJs who regularly slake patrons’ thirst for dancing.

“The music here is really good. Good mixes, good transitions,” says clubgoer Kriste Ford, 22, of San Bernardino. “The crowd gets into it.”

There are crowds. On this Friday, a line outside backs up as bouncers enforce the dress code. Trendy girls in stilettos and guys in collared shirts surrender the $20 cover charge. However, the drink specials throughout the night, including $3 Coronas and vodka Red Bulls, make up the difference.

Resident DJ Enrie, formerly of top L.A. radio station Power 106, spins hip-hop, top 40, and Latin mixes. Go-go girls in platform glitter boots and four-inch skirts gyrate on boxes above the crowded dance floor, filled with clusters of girls and scattered couples grinding along. The upstairs outdoor terrace offers a refreshing change from the steamy scene below, but don’t count on any downtime. It has its own DJ and open-air dance floor to keep the party going.





WHERE: 3252 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside

WHEN: 10 p.m. Friday (DJ Vice)

PRICE: $20 (21 and older); $25 (ages 18-20)

INFO: (951) 778-0611