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A Maverick's night out in Cape Town
Anything can happen at the Mother City’s fantasy playground
There is a very real sense of excitement as I approach the corner of Buitenkant and Barrack streets. A five-storey building with blackened windows looms ahead, and luxury cars line the street out front. I think I know what to expect from this, or do I? Just before I step through the door, I realise that this is the key ingredient to a great night out - that feeling that anything might happen.
For those who don’t know, there are strip clubs and there are strip clubs. This is the real deal. Mavericks is an iconic gentlemen’s club that’s been a Cape Town institution since 1990. The dancers are handpicked, gorgeous and exceptional at what they do, and then there’s the decadence; it pours out of every corner. Dark woods, leather and marble cover every inch of the interior: you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’d accidentally stepped into the Russian president’s cigar lounge.
Three floors of entertainment spread out inside in club, starting with a general area filled with couches, semi-private booths, comfortable restaurant-style tables and high chairs at the bar. Overlooking the general floor, flush with the main dance ramp, is a mezzanine level with couches and private booths, and then above this is the VIP lounge.
The latter includes everything Mavericks has to offer, but is far more intimate and exclusive. Red velvet booths and curtains hug the walls of the lounge while comfortable leather armchairs fill the floor. There is a full bar up here, and just in front of that, a large brass bird cage with a swing dangles seductively - the dancers make this little feature distracting indeed.
And then there is The Library. This is quite special. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves line the walls. Massive Chesterfield couches fill the room. The space gives you that sort of heady feeling of being rather untouchable. And you can hire it, with its own separate entrance, or visit for a fee on any night.
As I settle into a leather lounger on the mezzanine, a waitress arrives with a clutch of menus for food and drink. The choice of beverages is staggering, but I settle on a good scotch. In no time at all, my whisky arrives and a beautiful dancer struts onto the elevated stage. Dressed in a long black dress, she’s quite simply stunning, and the entire room’s attention now has a focus point.
Another dancer takes up position across the way on what looks like a ship’s bow. I barely know where to look. This happens throughout the night; there is not a moment when the main chamber is not dominated by two alluring entertainers. It is a non-stop attack on your sensibilities, in the best way possible.
The dancers are certainly not shy – be prepared to be tempted into a private booth by an almost never-ending stream of beautiful woman from around the world. Make no mistake, these are confident, charming individuals, and it takes some willpower to turn them down. FYI, private dances last two songs, and no, you can’t request your 8-minute favourite from Pink Floyd.
I’m barely to the bottom of my drink, when I’m offered another. Getting comfortable now, I realise it would almost be a pity to end up here after a night on the town. This feels more like a place to spend the evening, and the management has made every effort to fill the hours with highlights.
For one, there is a special surprise performance every night of the week, and it’s certainly worth catching. Tonight, the music changes and what looks like the largest martini glass in the Southern Hemisphere is wheeled in front of the raised stage. Two dancers emerge and delicately climb inside, undressing each other as they move to the music. The room is captivated.
Afterwards, when I’ve eventually reined in my faraway mind, I’m reminded that I’m really rather hungry. Thankfully the kitchen serves up fine food and sushi all night, with a bar menu available until 4am; no late-night drive-thru necessary then. Platters, steaks and gourmet burgers are the usual suspects, but each dish has its own unique twist. The chow is all about the details, as is the case with the rest of the club.
Looking around at the other guests, I notice that there are quite a few couples here. This is certainly a different sort of date night, and I think the fact that the gents are happy to bring their better halves along for an evening of risqué entertainment is the mark of a successful revue bar.
Needless to say, after my few hours at Mavericks, it’s clear that everything about the club is geared towards giving guests a maverick experience. The venue is slick, the service is good and the entertainment is non-stop, even if you miss out on a private dance.
There is no sleaze here, only the promise of a good show and the threat that anything could happen.
BACHELOR PARTIES AT MAVERICKS STRIP CLUB
It goes without saying that the best kind of boys’ night demands some lovely ladies, and Mavericks, as it turns out, is just the place to take a mate who’s all set to mourn the death of his singledom and embrace life as a ball and chain. Apart from its standard sensual offering, the gentlemen’s club has some bachelor-specific packages.
There’s the ‘chair of pleasure’ experience, which involves the groom-to-be being strapped down in a chair with a leather belt, dressed in an ‘I was almost married at Mavericks’ T-shirt and propelled onto centre stage. Here he’ll get to enjoy a personal lap dance with the entire room looking on. Otherwise, there’s the less kinky group booking special, which treats parties of 10 or more that pre-book and arrive before 9pm to a reserved section in the main room and complimentary food platters. In this case, the future hubby and the best man get in for free.
Finally, as outlined in the feature, there’s plenty opportunity to reserve a more private space and hire some fetching female friends for the evening. Don’t forget to dress the man of the hour in a ridiculous costume!
The Bill: Ladies pay R50p/p for general admission, gents pay R100p/p for general admission and both sexes pay an extra R200p/p for VIP entrance (private dances are extra and are for patrons’ own account). As far as the menu goes, platters for two go for from R200 to R360 and main courses ring in between R78 and R155. The ‘chair of pleasure’ bachelor experience costs R1000.
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