If you cringe every time you hear the words "grown and sexy" used to describe a club or event in the city, you're not alone. Not only has the term been woefully overused, there's also the tendency that an event bearing the dubious distinction will either be too grown, as in, "Is that my mom over there dropping it like it's hot?" or too sexy, as in, "Let me get this straight. There's no dancing or mingling? Just posing in my expensive attire with my cell phone?"
Fortunately, Fever – the Saturday night party hosted by Marco Blue and J. Carter at Utopia – has the potential to make grown and sexy respectable again.
Situated near the corner of Marietta Street and Northside Drive, Utopia is really three different venues in one. There's the restaurant, which offers an abbreviated menu of sushi, tapas and martinis in a Mediterranean-inspired space, flanked by recessed dining booths on one side and an impressively long and well-stocked bar on the other. A quick trip downstairs reveals Shangri-La, a swanky, intimate lounge outfitted in retro-modern decor. To the right of the restaurant is Ice, the aptly named, monochromatic ultralounge-cum-nightclub. Looking like the interior designer took cues from the James Bond film Die Another Day, the space is swathed in white sheers and iridescent lighting. It boasts an ample dance floor, another bar and the requisite VIP seating areas.
Though Fever promises a multifaceted experience of "3 atmospheres and 3 DJs," it falls short on fully delivering that expectation. For the majority of the night, the downstairs lounge is disappointingly underpopulated. There isn't a live DJ in sight, and most of the patrons who venture to the area only stay long enough to admire the space for a few moments before doing an abrupt about-face and heading back upstairs. The upstairs restaurant area hosts a few balloon and champagne bottle-popping birthday groups, along with a bevy of attractive, casually sophisticated singles in the 25-and-up range. A DJ is on hand spinning a mixture of R&B, hip-hop and dancehall, but the sound is so low, the music can barely be heard over the noise of the crowd. Yet where Fever fails to maximize two of Utopia's spaces, it more than makes up for it in its use of the third.
A steady flow of club anthems and crowd-moving classics emanates from the DJ booth, along with some lasers and smoke effects. The combination proves to be the perfect potion for inducing mass music-video fantasy action on the dance floor of the Ice lounge. The fellas – some wearing T-shirts and baseball caps, others sporting button-downs and slacks – issue their hardest Biggie and Lil Wayne impressions, while the ladies – even those in the highest of heels and shortest of skirts – respond with their best Beyonce and Trina-inspired dance moves.
Thankfully, no one is either too sexy to care about working up a sweat or too grown to look out of place doing so.