Liquor, Lust, and the Law—sounds like the beginning and end of a pretty good Christmas party. In fact it’s the title of a new, generously illustrated history of Seymour Street’s mythic Penthouse Nightclub, authored by local writer and musician Aaron Chapman and published by Arsenal Pulp Press.
Chapman brings out all the glory and dirt of this fabled oasis of sin, covering visits in the 1950s and ’60s by such giants as Duke Ellington and Nat King Cole, as well as later run-ins with the vice squad and, most notorious, the murder on the premises of the Penthouse’s patriarch, Joe Phillipone, in 1983.
Joe’s nephew Danny Fillipone, current owner of the club, will join Chapman for a special signing of Liquor, Lust, and the Law at 7 p.m. next Friday (December 7), at Book Warehouse (632 Broadway). If you can’t make that date, or would rather see the book’s rakish setting for yourself (without having to hide your visit from your significant other—strictly legit), head over to the Penthouse on the evening of December 11, when the Heritage Vancouver Society, along with Fillipone and Chapman, will host behind-the-scenes tours of the club (starting at 6, 6:45, and 7:30 p.m.). Then stick around for an Indian buffet and, at 9, the dancing girls! Tickets are $25, $30 for nonmembers. See the Heritage Vancouver site for details.