Our prayers have finally been answered. I don’t think I speak solely for myself when I say that the Cape Town gay community has, for a long time, been waiting in anticipation for a venue like Cruz.

Ever since the ill-fated Blah Bar closed its doors; the local gay scene has been short of a trendy meeting spot. Sure, there are other venues to choose from, but if you didn’t want a club, steam bath or restaurant, where could one go for some social interaction and an uninhibited tail-shake on the dance floor? Now there’s the trendsetting Cruz. Although the name implies a somewhat sleazy agenda, the venue is anything but!

Cruz launched to much fanfare and a certain amount of pizzazz a few weeks ago. As much as Mambaonline wanted to report on this opening, Cruz was slow with providing feedback and photos.

Deciding to have three consecutive opening nights (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) might have been a bad idea, as rumor has it that some of the nights were poorly attended. This could also have had something to do with a rather shaky last minute PR effort. However, on the Saturday night that I attended, the attendance was sizable without being cramped and the excitement was most certainly palpable.

The red carpet opening night treatment included a complimentary drink on arrival (for the early ones) finger snacks (desert was particularly delicious) and a variety of on-stage entertainment. After a seductive dance routine and a slick drag act, local comedienne Irit Nobel made a huge impact with her witty one-liners and hysterical renderings of classic songs.

“The attention to detail is astounding – even the bathrooms have to be seen and appreciated…”

However, it was without doubt the bevy of beautiful go-go dancers that stole the show. With six of the sexy hunks positioned around the venue there was plenty that was ‘easy on the eye’. These boys have become a regular weekend feature at Cruz. The barmen too have been selected for more than their bartending skills and many have already become firm eye candy favorites with the regulars.

The venue itself is also something of beauty. Fears that the owners might simply have applied a slick of paint to what use to be the old On Broadway were allayed the moment we walked in the door. The interior has been totally remodeled and the feature lighting and design by African Light & Trading shows was money well spent. The main section has an entrance area, large bar and dance floor.

The bar boasts rose quarts inserted under glass – with fiber optic lighting adding a camp sparkle. The dance floor is intimate and lit from below. The venue features two other bar areas; a masculine dark wood bar screened off from the main area by an ornate carved door frame and a plush VIP bar with dramatic chandeliers and faux fur upholstered high-back seating.

The attention to detail is astounding – even the bathrooms have to be seen and appreciated.

The music played on opening night was appropriate to the venue – stylish and chic remixes of jazz classics and other sultry tunes. On regular weekends the music does not lose its sophisticated edge.

I desperately hope that Cruz survives the rather fickle attitude of the Cape Town gay scene and that it continues to be well supported. Only time will tell, but the overall support shown over the past few weekends implies that Cruz is a social destination that deserves continued patronage.

Cruz is at 21B Somerset Rd, Greenpoint, Cape Town.

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