Smoke & Mirrors, the peripatetic L.A. club with arguably the toughest door in town, is on the move again. Just two months after acrimoniously departing its original home off the lobby at the Standard hotel on the Sunset Strip — then touching down briefly at the upstairs annex of Cinespace in Hollywood, where co-owner Paul Sevigny had run its predecessor, Paul & Andre, last summer — the club will permanently set up shop at an address on La Cienega Blvd., just south of Santa Monica Blvd.
According to Sevigny’s partner, Armin Amiri, the current iteration of Smoke & Mirrors, beloved for its throwback-heavy music sets and anti-bottle service stance, will close “in another week or two.” The La Cienega location, whose exact address Amiri declined to disclose, will retain a similar look to the Standard space, which was notable for its sparse décor: mirrored walls, black leather banquettes and old-school disco balls.
Amiri says the two are aiming to open by Halloween. Then they plan to turn their attention to a second Smoke & Mirrors in New York City, which they hope to debut by the end of the year near Spring St. and Seventh Ave., west of SoHo. Beyond New York, Amiri and Sevigny intend to take the club concept to Berlin within the next year or two, believing the town’s avant-garde art scene would be an appreciative patron base. “I’ve visited a couple of times recently, and we want to be a part of that movement,” says Amiri, who’s also an actor (The Wrestler) about to begin filming a role in Kevin Asch’s financial-meltdown drama Affluenza.
Although most top-tier clubs drawing a reliably solid celebrity and industry clientele are one-offs (with mystique that would likely be fatally diluted by cloning), Smoke & Mirrors is not the only insiders-only nightlife brand to attempt to spread its success across several cosmopolitan cities. Sevigny’s former partner on Paul & Andre, André Saraiva, has rolled out a series of his buzzy Le Baron clubs — first in Paris, then London and Tokyo, and most recently in Manhattan’s Chinatown earlier this year — all without losing heat.