Still The Purple Room, But With a New Look

Club Trinidad nightclub opens with same 'Rat Pack' mystique

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The room is still purple.

But not completely.

Among the new touches to The Purple Room at Club Trinidad, which officially opens at 3 p.m. today (Oct. 24), are white walls with purple accents.

The room was previously painted almost completely purple, creating that dark, blend-in-with-the-crowd look that made the place so attractive as a hangout for stars trying to escape the Hollywood glare like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. in the 1960s.

This version is brighter, bigger and with a stage that owners Tony Marchese and Mark Van Laanen hope to turn into that hip, got-to-be-there nightspot with just weekend entertainment to start.

Marchese and Van Laanen are well known as the owners of Trio Restaurant in the Uptown Design District in Palm Springs, so The Purple Room menu will be enhanced to include both bar-type food mixed with actual sit-down dinner fare. The room is set up to serve 140 people, but provides flexibility in being able to remove tables and create room for a half or full-dance floor in front of the stage.

Marchese said a "state-of-the-art" sound system has been installed, and the music coming out of it will be totally live. No sound tracks.

"The goal is everyone sings with the band," Marchese says. "That kind of feel."

Upon entering The Purple Room, guests will be greeted by a life-size wall photo of Sammy Davis Jr. playing the bongo drums. Inside will be life-size photos of Martin, Sinatra and Bob Hope.

Even though the property opened more than 50 years ago, Marchese and Van Laanen want to retain the "Rat Pack" mystique surrounding The Purple Room. Marchese says The Purple Room and Melvyn's are the only two places left in Palm Springs that can make legitimate claims of being the place they hung out.

So perhaps it's fitting Marchese found out from Club Trinidad CEO Arthur Brigman this week that the hotel/nightclub originally opened on Nov. 5, 1960.

"I didn't know that until Monday (Oct. 21) from Arthur, who had come in and talked to our staff about some of the things that have happened here, with Frank Sinatra and all the boys, and it was interesting that we're opening within the same two-week period of when it first did," Marchese says.

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VIDEO: See The Purple Room still with some finishing touches being made Oct. 22.

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