33 Restaurant & Lounge
The lounge at 33 Restaurant & Lounge on Stanhope Street in the Back Bay may just have Boston’s tiniest dance floor. The upstairs restaurant isn’t much bigger. So it’s no surprise to find both rooms filled — with a waiting line outside — for the venue’s weekly Thursday House Music night. But this is an even more special occasion: the 33 Lounge’s Valentine’s Day party, and there are at least 133 partygoers in the house, true house heads including several familiar faces from Rise Club late-nights. They’re shapely, their faces shine, and most are gorgeously dressed — some of the men wear suits and ties, no less, and the gals have brought out their spikiest heels and slinkiest black dresses.
The music, too, is slinky, spiky, suited, and black. DJs Evan, Sean Donnelly, and — doing the close-out set — Strict keep the tempo strutting, on tiptoes. The DJ booth at 33 Lounge is in the adjacent wine cellar, of all places, and as the dark red wine pours on and on, from the cellar to the bar, the music pumps up and into all of us.
Strict, who spins regularly at 33’s Thursday nights, is from Saugus — yet another suburban kid who, as he puts it, “at age 11 started listening to house, and then, when older, going into the city to buy the beats and hear the sounds” — and who now has committed himself to the spinning life. “I especially love the closing set. You can let yourself go, no holds barred!”
And so it goes. People are hanging at the bar, dancing in the aisles and underneath the stairs. Everyone is taking digital snapshots — scenester Maria D included. Maria is everywhere, greeting guests. Most come to 33 Thursdays via her guest list. Her co-host, Sam Sokol, is there too, attended by well-wishers. He looks as happy as a parent watching his child graduate from high school — except that, unlike a parent, he gets to do it all again next Thursday. As the old-school hip-hop saying goes, “You don’t stop!”