Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Adding beer and babes to First Fridays

By awoodall
Saturday, February 2nd, 2008 at 3:36 pm in Oakland nightlife, Uptown.

85356963_a9db8fecde_m.jpgI popped into the Stork Club last night on the last stop of my Night Owl-First Friday roundup. The place was packed like I’ve never seen and things were positively hopping for the Friday Night Follies — a new attraction on the ever-expanding Art Murmur tour. That’s what can happen when you put near-naked girls on stage, especially if they can sing and dance and otherwise entertain a la burlesque (va va voom!). I nearly headed out bc it was so packed until I saw an old college friend of mine in the front row appreciating the talent. She looked pretty happy.  Folks said Uni and her Ukelele was a big hit. A school teacher in town from the Central Valley was more partial to Ophelia Coeur de Noir. The Stork Club’s owner, Tom Chittock, looked pretty pleased and tired as the crowd surged to the bar in search of refreshments. He was standing in front of a wall of Barbies still in their packaging that belonged to his mother. “I call it my inheritance,” said Tom, who also inherited the bar — Micki and Wes’ Stork Club — from his folks and has set about turning it into a hot spot. Originally, way back in the day, the club opened as a country and western bar. Instead, as Tom put it, “This place was founded on punk rock.”  
And I finally met someone I introduced you all to a while back here on the blog: “Constant Dancer,” so named by my daughter who created a comicbook character based on him. His real name is Corey it turns out and he danced the whole time. Everyone was loving Roger That on his electric ukelele, too, especially when he took off his shirt between acts to reveal a canvas of tattoos worthy of a sailor. “Apparently I get to kill some more time so I’m going to ROCK,” he told folks after a fiery rendition of “I’m going to walk right out your door” (how many times have you seen the words fiery and ukelele together?).  Then came the highlight, the Belles du Jour. “Make way for tap-dancing titties,” the MC announced. It’s too cool that the Belles are back after a hiatus of some months, especially (as I found out last night), their leader “Honey Lawless” fought down cancer. She looked great and seemed surprised and delighted at the turnout. She said later that it was the first show where the venue had to hold the line at the door. The mood made up for missing the band of merry pranksters over at the Linden Street Brewery, where I had begun my rounds. The tale is that they set out in a double-decker bus from the brewery on First Fridays to hit the Art Murmur venues, which now also include the Stork and the Uptown and who knows how many others. Roger That said it best: “We need more shows like this,” meaning the Stork’s Friday Night Follies. “Typically I’d have had to go to San Francisco. Not any more.”
(Photo by pbo31)

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One Response to “Adding beer and babes to First Fridays”

  1. Honey Lawless goes solo - The Night Owl - Prowling for Oakland after-hour events with Angela Woodall Says:

    […] you read any of my stories or blogs about burlesque, you’ll know who Honey Lawless and the Belles du Jour are: […]

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