Le Club, back in contention, maybe

le club, doha mercure grand, formerly sofitel - the last word in sophistication
The time has come, the Walrus said, to re-evaluate Le Club in Sofitel. Regular readers here may remember that some years ago the place was heaving every night. A succession of good lively bands coupled with a liberal entry policy more than made up for the general air of dilapidation verging on squalor. It was never a place to take the legendary maiden aunt; nevertheless, a good time could be had, dependably, for the moderate outlay of the price of a couple of beers.
Where it all went wrong was when the management decided a few years back to make it members only and restricted the membership to men and married couples. When people stayed away in droves, they 'compensated' for, or more accurately compounded their losses by increasing the prices and hiring cheaper bands.
But, it's an ill wind that blows nobody some good. Ramada/Radisson's recent decision to blanket ban Chinese girls with UAE or Bahrain visas, while it has killed the Orion at a stroke (takings can scarce be a quarter of pre-ban levels), has almost overnight corrected the extreme gender imbalance of Le Club. In fact, on Tuesday night, for a time the men were actually outnumbered, for the first time in five years. This happy state of affairs, so rare in Qatar, together with Le Club's recent refurbishment, together made for an enjoyable evening.
Were the girls happy with their new venue? Certainly they appreciated the open door policy. They had some reservations about the prevailing demographic of the clientèle (though they expressed it in simpler language) but hey, even that will change naturally with time, if the word gets out.
And if the management re-engages Boggs and his girls.


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