Deep in Croydon’s Market Place area, an area packed with bars, clubs and pubs, Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club is a classy adult entertainment establishment with an emphasis on burlesque glamour rather than the trappings of the traditional tacky strip club. Open until 6am on Fridays and Saturdays, 5am on a Thursday and 3am on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, it’s also one of the only places to get a late drink in the area.
From its brightly illuminated entrance to the lift that takes you from the foyer to the first floor, it’s clear that they are going for a sense of nocturnal glamour. On reaching the main room you’ll enter a dimly lit space for about 200 people, one that’s well stocked with luxurious armchairs and walls lined with arty close ups of women, some of them actually shots of dancers from the club. The central point of the room, of course, is a raised dance floor, complete with two poles, where the girls strut their stuff.
Unsurprisingly, it attracts a lot of guys although this is not exclusively so. Like many adult entertainment clubs these days, Hustler attempts to make itself couples-friendly and indeed there are a few couples dotted around the clientele on the night we visit. The age range is wide, from mid-20s right the way up to late 50s. As for the dancers, while not as plentiful as in some central London clubs, they are certainly stunning (naturally), but also chatty and intelligent - you may be taken aback to find yourself discussing the finer points of Eastern European architecture.
Conspicuously, there are no big groups of young lads on the prowl, meaning that the atmosphere is surprisingly subdued if not exactly sober - this couldn’t be further from the traditional stereotype of the strip club with its noisy, baying mob.
The dancers strip down to their g-strings on stage to a soundtrack of bumping R&B, but in essence the floorshow is a teaser for the other delights on offer. The girls are circling and ready to chat to you and persuade you to part with £20 for a lap dance in the more intimate environs of the club’s secluded side rooms. There are two-for-one deals (that’s dances rather than ladies) and there are options to spend longer if desired - an hour of private time costs £100.
The bar is well stocked with lots of luxury items, right up to the Louis Roederer Cristal champagne at £380 a bottle. But there are options for those on a more humble budget - the beer (Guinness, San Miguel and Cobra) is all £4 a pint, and there’s a great array of wines from France, Spain, Australia all at a fiver a glass. You can also buy many of the spirits by the bottle as well as by the measure (Jack Daniels, Courvoisier, Captain Morgan and Bacardi are all £95 for a 700ml bottle, Johnnie Walker Black is £120).
The Last Word
Undeniably glamorous surroundings, a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, charming female company and very late opening all go to make this an establishment that Mr Flynt himself would surely be proud to put his name to.