Mystique, the new nightlife spot at 441 Main Street, made its debut on the club scene at the start of this month. If the crowds on the dance floor and slew of “Mystique tonight!” Facebook statuses every weekend are any indication, the newest comer to the Exchange District is more than holding its own. Like the title says, its really no mystery why Mystique is attracting so many of the enthusiastic club-goers in Winnipeg. Every Friday and Saturday they simply offer up exactly the experience they advertise; music that makes people want to dance, a young sexy clientèle (and staff), and the attention to detail that attracts VIPs. Oh, and booze. Lots of booze.
There is a certain element to a club that can’t be explained by the decor, music, or how intoxicated you are when you arrive, and thats the vibe. People know it right away when they feel it, and it tells you immediately whether or not this is in fact somewhere you want to be partying. The success thus far that Mystique has seen is due in large part to that vibe. Some combination of the music the DJ is playing, the attitude of the staff (top notch from bartenders to bouncers to busboys) and the low key dress code is appealing to the patrons and thats where it all begins . The crowds at Mystique, probably because they feel that vibe when they walk in, continue to pass it on themselves throughout the night. The girls are coming to have a good time and be sexy without crossing over into catty and the guys are high energy but fall short of macho (which we all know with the Exchange’s track record for security in bars can be not just a downer but dangerous). In short, people are showing up to have a good time.
The other aspect of Mystique that’s really working for them I feel is that they’ve identified one of the big reasons people want to go out on the weekend. Going to the bar isn’t just “business as usual” to most of us, bar stars excluded, we go out because we want to cut loose after grinding away for the week or to celebrate special occasions. Mystique’s policy towards handling its VIPs, people who really want to feel special and have a memorable night to reward themselves, is excellent. I’ve had VIP at bars before only to find out that rather than allowing me to show up and get in without a hassle it just entitled me to show up and stand in a slightly shorter, much slower VIP line. Now not to brag but I was given a Mystique VIP card for the sake of being able to tell you the readers what I thought of it, and the only thing I can say about it is that you want one of these cards. Management probably wouldn’t enjoy me telling you to beg or steal for these cards, but if you have the opportunity, I would recommend begging or stealing to get one of these cards. Or keep your eyes open for opportunities to win them which I’m sure Access will keep you up to date on. I showed up past midnight on opening night, flashed my card, was quickly redirected to the VIP entrance and ordering my first drink 30 seconds later.
As of right now the temperature in Winnipeg is still at a reasonable human level so people heading to the Exchange are probably more inclined to shop around and do some bar hopping on their nights out. But I think as Winter sets in and exposed skin goes from sexy to frost bite liability, Mystique is going to establish itself this season as the bar where you want to show up early and leave late.