If you’re looking for a fun, gay-friendly night on the town and prefer cornrows to frosted tips and Fantasia to Fergie, get your best dance moves ready and head to Prop House on Fridays. Located among industrial businesses on Elston between North and Cortland, Prop House looks nondescript from the outside, and its interior doesn't bode well for its originality, either—it leaves that to the crowd.
The main room plays mostly soulful and disco house. Loft-like walls draped in red curtains divide the large open space into distinct areas for the linoleum-covered dance floor, seating and two main bars. The upstairs room, with red lights and a wood floor, blasts hip-hop and has an area where voyeurs can look down on the dance floor below.
No matter which room you choose, you can watch the crowd, predominantly gay and lesbian blacks and Latinos wearing hot club gear, break it down to the music and stopping only for a drink refill. Don’t be surprised by a transgender/transsexual partygoer or two.
Prop House doesn’t get going until after midnight. If you arrive later than 1 a.m., be prepared to stand in line. After paying the cover ($10-$15), you have to go through a metal detector and bag inspection. The friendly but thorough security inspected every crevice of my large tote and took my pepper spray. Expect to drop $7 for a well cocktail (if you're lucky, you might get a $1-off coupon when you pay cover) in the smallest plastic cup ever used at a club. The drinks are so strong, though, you’ll spend an hour baby-sipping one down.
On Saturdays, Prop House totally flips scenes, catering to a 23-and-older straight crowd. It has a strict, no streetwear dress code, and WGCI DJs provide the music.
Centerstage Reviewer: Maya Henderson