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An American Psycho-inspired lair: Step inside DORSIA, Houston's new "exclusive" either-coast club

The entrance to Upper Kirby's DORSIA. Photo via Dorsia/Facebook
The bar is cozy and the service is quick. Photo via Dorsia/Facebook
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Banquettes abound, but there is no dance floor. Photo via Dorsia/Facebook
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News_Dorsia_sitting area

When Kalon Joseph Reid McMahon (I use all four names because he uses all four initials), the face and business rep of DORSIA, pitched and then canceled CultureMap's "exclusive tour" of the new nightspot at the last minute, he offered an explanation: You only get one chance at a first impression.

Most of us got that first impression Tuesday, when the DORSIA website finally became populated with details including its ambitious menu, membership requirements and mission statement ("Escape from the ordinary and retreat to DORSIA, where as always, discretion required. [sic]).

Tweeters got a kick out of calling out the site's many typos — the most glaring of which was probably the misspelling of Kirby as "Kriby Drive" — and poking fun at its air of exclusivity and self-proclaimed either-coast ambiance.

 Most intriguing to us was the American Psycho-borrowed "urchin ceviche." It makes one wonder how much of Patrick Bateman is in the place. 

We hit the supposedly soon-to-be-members-only spot for the first time last Saturday night, but didn't stay long. The interiors were impressive, but the crowd was sparse.

That was not the case Tuesday night, however, when the club at 3200 Kirby (member of the same complex as the famed funeral bars — and the same parcel of land involved in a lawsuit) hosted a Fashion Houston after-party.

A (mostly) finely dressed crowd, many fresh from the Fashion Houston shows, descended on the symbol-laden American Psycho-inspired lair around 11 p.m. As I said, the interiors are impressive — dark paisley print on the walls, abounding art, tufted white banquettes and bar chairs, dark wood accents — although the lack of a dance floor might detract from a back-up plan as a regular old high-end lounge.

Unlike Red Room, which McMahon also helped get off the ground, there's nowhere to groove and not much to do at DORSIA when you get sick of drinking in a corner. Due to parking constraints, the patio is eentsy.

Considerable space that could have been used for just such a purpose is consumed by the wine lockers, meant, presumably, for future members. The enormous glass-fronted, climate-controlled room, which holds 10,000 bottles, is empty for now.

As for the menu — and the "celebrity chef" the website touts — we didn't have any food or uncover the celeb chef's identity. Most intriguing to us was the American Psycho-borrowed "urchin ceviche." It makes one wonder how much of Patrick Bateman is in the place.

As one friend put it, "We weren't sure if it was real and serious, real and ironic or just a big practical joke. I thought for sure it was a joke. I am pleased and also horrified that it is serious."

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