Smells like a rose

Gerber's Stone Rose Lounge opens at the Sofitel

Stone Rose Lounge, Sofitel
Can Rande Gerber convince L.A. to party in front of the Beverly Center?

That’s the wager at the Sofitel on Beverly Boulevard, where Gerber’s Stone Rose Lounge is a linchpin in the hotel’s reported $40 million-plus renovation.

Until now, this was a neighborhood that defined nightlife as the Star Strip. And for businessmen who remember Sofitel as a staid but comfy place to sleep, this shiny new revamp will bring on anxiety attacks.

THEY SAY
Scott Gerber, Rande’s brother and business partner, wants the location to tap the Cedars-Sinai crowd as well as celebrities.”We’re not the Roosevelt Hotel. We don’t want to be known as a kid’s hangout. I think Rande would be more comfortable with Clooney and Pitt than with Paris Hilton.”

WE SAY
The Good Is Stone Rose inside the hotel, or is it the other way around? While the inevitable ropes and bouncers may change that seamless sensibility, on opening night all was one. The groovy lobby (a chair made entirely of silver dollars!) blends into the Stone Rose’s cozy postmodern décor (long velvet couches and shiny red ottomans!), which moves smoothly into Kerry’s Simon’s brand-new restaurant, Simon L.A. (Says Simon: “They only let us have the restaurant two hours before the party started.”)

Gerber’s design testifies to his talent for thinking like a clubgoer: furniture that doesn’t sacrifice comfort on the altar of chic, room to move and a DJ who isn’t afraid to use songs with words. Best of all, the room opens wide to an outdoor patio that features a row of cabanas and walls just high enough to block the Beverly Center’s Communist architecture from view. All that remains are the billboards, which seem to float in space. And “Blade Runner” never goes out of style.
The Bad Is the Stone Rose too late? At this point, La Quinta may be the only L.A. hotel that hasn’t undergone a multimillion-dollar renovation in hopes of attracting paparazzi catnip. And as the Sofitel goes, so will the Stone Rose.

NEED TO KNOW
8555 Beverly Blvd., 310-278-5444. Open 4 p.m.-2 a.m., seven days a week.

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