Too cool for pool

Faces is open nightly at 2000 K Street. For more info visit


2000 K St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 448-7798

I really wanted someone to jump into the new swimming pool during Faces’ expansion party last Saturday night. More specifically, I wanted that someone to be me. It’s not that I hoped to show off splashy moves or a bikini body—as if I had either—to the hundreds of partiers celebrating the gay nightclub’s new second floor, pool patio and six additional bars. I just love to swim. An empty pool on a warm spring night is as tempting, and as daunting, as a dance floor with no one on it.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry about the latter. All three of Faces’ dance floors were respectably full by 9:30 p.m. and as intimately funky as a sardine tin by 11. But except for a couple of brave ladies who kicked off stilettos to dip manicured tootsies in the water, the pool stayed unmolested for as long as I was there. (Although, admittedly, I left far earlier than the 4 a.m. closing time.)

Carefully groomed men milled about the stylishly industrial second-floor balcony and studied the illuminated turquoise water with skepticism: “Is it heated? If it’s not heated, there ain’t no way my ass is getting in there.”

“A pool? What were they thinking? With all these drunk queens tottering around in high heels, they’re going to have a lawsuit on their hands!”

“A pool, fine. But where is the Jacuzzi?”

I leaned out as far as I could over the balcony railing and wondered whether someone would ever get drunk enough to attempt a cannonball from the second floor. (Let’s hope not; the pool is only four feet deep.) So strong was my swim jones that I momentarily considered wading in, wearing my jeans and black thrift-store blouse, just to see if I could get the aqua party started.

Alas, it’s my job to report the news, not to make it. I dutifully scribbled “no one in pool” in my pocket notebook and headed back inside, where the new décor put my living room to shame.

Forget about black walls and disco balls; Faces’ new “wing” has modern print carpeting with matching blue-vinyl modular furniture, large floral arrangements at the bars, and abstract art on the walls. Expansive windows face Headhunters Video Lounge and Grille, allowing visitors at both locales to determine at a glance whether the party’s over here or the party’s over there. Upstairs, a circular bar hugs the DJ booth and opens in the middle, overlooking a new dance floor below. A glass walkway also provides a window to the first floor—as well as a terrifying sense of vertigo that had me inching around it like Jimmy Stewart on a bell tower.

Sensing I might be better suited to ground-floor revelry, I made my way downstairs to the old familiar Faces. In the middle room, I found rodeo videos and country two-step dancing by some adorably Brokeback couples in matching 10-gallon hats. Though the scene was wonderfully romantic to watch, having neither boots nor a partner, I moved on.

Lucky for me, the front bar had no prerequisites. The room pulsed with the sounds of voices singing along to “Hollaback Girl.” A friend and I soon became hollered-at girls when a pair of fabulous men decided they “loooved us.”

“Go white girls! Go white girls!” they chanted as we shook our tailfeathers. Perhaps they were making fun of us, but we chose to take it as a compliment. Besides, after a track fade into Kevin Lyttle’s “Turn Me On,” we were upstaged by a voluptuous goddess with long hair and a skin-tight red dress dancing the rhinestones off her red-satin cha-cha heels.

With a crowd running the gamut from barely-21 baby dykes in “I Kiss Girls” T-shirts to silver-haired gentlemen cruisers, Faces always has been a prime spot for people watching. The new space just means more to see, and in the case of the towering drag queens sashaying through the masses, more to see you. It’s a chance to become whoever you want to be—which in my case, would be a girl with her own swimming pool. Next time, I’m going in.