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Those who were admitted before the crowd swelled beyond a 160-person capacity emerged in 2014 exhilarated and impressed by the gilded, mirrored funhouse. Those who weren’t ranted about power-tripping bouncers and a highfalutin attitude toward locals. But the underground nightclub with a hot L.A. sister, both co-owned by actor David Arquette, has checked itself. New partner and longtime local Andrew Sandler is guiding subtle changes, such as replacing fine dining with tapas fare and hosting friendlier parties with area businesses. That’s not to say spirits have simmered: Stumble downstairs from serene Hopkins Avenue on Saturday at midnight, and you’ll be swallowed whole by a thumping, bumping, rambunctious mass of scenesters and shakers. A glittering black hole once rumored to draw six-figure bar tabs, Bootsy’s can’t help but incite behavior that’s dark, sexy, and anything-goes—fit for its namesake, Arquette’s late burlesque-performer mother.

More to come in Act Three: Renovations fast-tracked last winter will be finished during fall offseason in Bootsy’s trademark baller style. Principals of H.Wood Group and Hakkasan Group expect that enhanced lighting, seating, and bar, plus entertainment programming including puppet shows, will cement Bootsy Bellows Aspen as a haute model for copycat clubs in tony markets—possibly Toronto, London, Dubai, and Moscow. You heard it here first.

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