Premier ‘Passage’

Carrie MacQuaid

Le Passage is not for the weak of heart – or the poor in cash. If you aren’t wearing one of the designer labels Fergie plugs in “My Humps,” you might as well go home because you probably aren’t going to make it past the velvet rope. This classy nightclub is full of people who want to be seen and those who hope to see a celebrity – or at least someone they sort of recognize.

Pretensions and dress codes aside, Le Passage is a great after-hours club if and when you want to go all-out. The dark club is located down a long flight of stairs and decorated with palms that make it feel like a cross between a Tommy Bahama store and a palace. Plush banquettes and tall wicker chairs are available for the important people, and for the very important people there are tables and bottle service. (The rest of us mere mortals have to stand.)

Le Passage offers the most high-end everything, from bottles of champagne most people only dream about to fancy Polynesian cocktails. The lucky ones find an investment banker or pseudo-celebrity to treat them, and the others stand around the crowded cash machine and watch their wallets get thinner. Before 10:30 p.m. the club functions as a chic French-fusion restaurant; after, the tables are cleared out to make room for a dance floor.

Le Passage is located at 1 Oak Place (better known as 937 N. Rush St.) and is accessible from the CTA red line Chicago stop. Open 9 p.m.-4 a.m. Thursday and Friday and 9 p.m.-5 a.m. Saturday. Reservations are accepted for VIP seating.

– Carrie MacQuaid