The buzz has been hot and heavy that Rouge has closed. Rumors were all over the place to the reason of its supposed demise. Well, I just got off the phone with Chachita Rubio, the co-owner, and she says that is NOT true. She explained that she is partners with a straight guy who is responsible for setting the prices with regard to entrance fee and drink prices. MANY (!)people had complained bitterly, because the prices for the drinks were extremely high. Also,on Saturday nights it was RD$200 pesos to get in, and you got no drink. They were charging RD140 pesos for a Presidente. All Dominicans know that you can go to the colmado and get a Presidente for RD$35 to RD$40 pesos. If you are going to have any gay business here, you MUST be able to appeal to the gay Dominican clientele to survive. Because of this reason Rouge was empty last weekend. Jay-Dee's and Arena were full. Chachita says she and her partners have heard the message loud and clear and tells me that the price of entry, along with drink prices have been lowered accordingly. She asked me to let people know of the changes. Okay. Now you know. Again, let the club wars begin!
What else ...
There is also mucho buzz about a new magazine that is supposed to launch called Vida Fabulosa (Fabulous Life). I first heard about the magazine when I saw a classified for it on DR1 looking for people to work for the magazine. It said that it would be the most controversial magazine in Dominican history. I had heard that it would be out in August. The classified on DR1 then said it would be out September 18, 2006. One of the people working on the project was out the night before last, discussing the magazine with some Americans who live here. He said that the magazine would be out any day now. He was commenting on how they have ads with Presidente and Orange (cellular company), along with other major advertisers. He also mentioned that one of the gay business owners here had advertised in the magazine. I for one can't wait to see it. They are even discussing it on the DR1 chat board.
Several weeks ago a student was killed after being denied entrance to a famous upscale club here, Praia. The story is still sketchy, but according to the newspapers, the young lady and her friends went to the club and were denied entry. An argument ensued and the young lady, or someone from her group threw some rocks at the door of the club, which is glass, and it shattered. The group runs back to their car and the security guard starts shooting at the car, killing the young woman. The story was frontpage news here. The young woman was a university student who, according to the papers, had been let in the club before. It seems this time her friends were not the sort to be allowed in the club. From the Dominicans I talk to, it meant that they were too dark. This incident has brought up the color problem in Dominican society. The government has come out and said that discrimination is illegal and said it wouldn't be tolerated. I have been to Praia, and it is one of the most beautiful clubs I have ever been to. Done in white and glass, it is like any upscale club anywhere in the world. The night I went (w/a friend here on business) I was the darkest person in the place (my friend is white), excluding the help. It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same.