Playboy Club opened to a sea of criticism but it’s actually all harmless fun. In the case of the Players Bar, there’s more to watch than just the cute Playboy Bunnies.
Players Bar is like much of the Playboy Club – dark, brooding and surprisingly lacking in any overt sex appeal. Instead, it has the feeling of a real old boy’s club and you can imagine the haze of cigar smoke that would fill the whole venue were smoking allowed. This is one of several bars dotted around the club, and it’s located next to the main casino floor where the flash of lights grabs your attention.
This offering differs from the others with its focus on sports. Yup, that’s right guys – girls AND sport. It’s a dream come true. While Bunny Girls flit about, guys gaze intently at the big game (whichever it may be) on one of three huge plasma screens. That said, this is no ordinary sports bar and it’s far from chavvy. Instead, comfortable leather seating in dark brown and blacks is sophisticated and highly designed and the blue back-lit bar glimmers appealingly. It has an upmarket flair that will appeal to high rollers who also happen to enjoy the football (or, more likely, rugby).
Players Bar – like much of the Playboy Club – is surprisingly tame given the hoo-ha that surrounded its opening. The Bunny servers keep everything covered at all times – you see more flesh on a night out in Leicester Square. The girls are even taught how to bend over and serve drinks without causing a ‘wardrobe malfunction’. Instead, they wear the cute outfits with pride and, although they are gorgeous and there to titillate, it goes no further than that. There’s also less of a laddish attitude than you may expect. In the sports bar, guys keep an eye on the TVs, chat while sipping martinis, and the whole thing feels more Mad Men then Stringfellows. Although this is a members' club, you can get in if you have a friend who’s a member or if you’re considering membership and want to dine in the restaurant with colleagues, for example. They also hold (expensive) ticketed events for non-members, although you’ll still have to abide by their strict door policy. If they don’t like the look of you or you offend the Bunnies, you’ll find yourself promptly ‘moved’ to the street.
As with many gentleman’s clubs, expensive wine, champagne and cocktails are the drinks of choice, although they do have a couple of (rather dull!) bottled beers, too. The martini has to be the way to go here to really channel Don Draper, but you’ll be looking at £15+ depending on what spirits you opt for and exactly how premium you want to go. However, whereas their other bar Salvatore's is all about the drinks, Players Bar is more about the sport or just a place to rest weary feet.
The Last Word
Players Bar is surprisingly tame by gentleman’s club standards and certainly doesn’t warrant the protests that the club received when it opened.