HOLLYWOOD — The scene at The Roosevelt Hotel’s new poolside Tropicana Bar is straight out of “Entourage,” complete with a backdrop of hot extras, modernist furnishings and sky-high palm trees. On one recent night, Lindsay Lohan chatted with pals at one end of the amber-lit bar while Jake Gyllenhaal and Kirsten Dunst giggled away in a corner.
Later in the evening, Ione Skye was engaged in conversation with a couple of girlfriends. Perhaps, like many other bold-faced voyeurs there, they were simply taking inventory of their fellow guests: Gina Gershon, Tricky, Macy Gray, Paul Thomas Anderson and Eva Mendes.
“It was pretty sexy,” admits Amanda Scheer Demme of the star-filled evening. Demme, who cuts a tough-as-nails figure in tight jeans and silver-ringed fingers, is the Tropicana’s ringmaster and friend to just about everyone who’s anyone who wanders in.
That includes mild-mannered music man Dave Stewart, who can barely contain his plans to begin live broadcasts on Sunday afternoons from the Roosevelt pool, which was recently restored to reveal the dozens of blue crescent swirls David Hockney brushed on its surface some years ago.
“Amanda and I are calling it the ‘Artists’ Brothel,’ because that’s what this is,” says Stewart. “There’s always great art directors, producers and photographers hanging out here.”
These are, after all, Demme’s people. As a music supervisor, she has 30-plus film and TV credits, including a Grammy for “Garden State.” She helped launch several music labels and artists (from Incubus to Mark Ronson) and, both with and without her former partner, Brent Bolthouse, produced an endless slew of cross-promotional branding events, not to mention infamous parties.
But that was only part of her work: she produced “In Search of Ted Demme,” the documentary on the popular director who was her late husband. And since last year, she has been revamping the three bars at the historic Roosevelt Hotel along with designer Dodd Mitchell and the hotel’s new management group, Thompson Hotels. Besides the Tropicana — which has been jam-packed with A-listers since it opened on June 10 — there’s The Lobby and Teddy’s, named after her late husband, which are set to open later this summer.
This story first appeared in the June 27, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
About the Tropicana, she says, “It isn’t a nightclub; it’s a haven. I want people to come here and feel at home, happy, protected — like they’re in my living room. I’m not in a rush to make this happen.”