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The Moda Squad

River North’s Club Moda, like the world of modeling it celebrates, is no place for the unattractive, or at least the unconnected.<br><br>Bouncers at Moda, ("moda" being Italian for fashion), in addition to discouraging the less than beautiful...

Only serious fashionistas need apply to Moda.

Only serious fashionistas need apply to Moda.

Karen Hoyt Metlica

River North’s Club Moda, like the world of modeling it celebrates, is no place for the unattractive, or at least the unconnected.

Bouncers at Moda, (“moda” being Italian for fashion), in addition to discouraging the less than beautiful from entering reportedly use handheld counters to ensure a fashionable ratio of men to women inside.

Owner Roman Sanchez admits his club with its couture theme, complete with non-stop runway shows broadcast on several flat-screen televisions, is unabashedly selective. “We’re looking for fashion,” said Sanchez, who added that even the bartenders are outfitted in Gucci and Prada. “We want people looking great. If you’re wearing tennis shoes and a T-shirt, you’re not getting in.”

Sanchez, who flew in fabrics from France to augment the decor, designed an attractive bi-level lounge space in warm autumn shades to best flatter the clientele. The focal point upstairs is the 45-foot-long main bar, over which the names of Calvin Klein, Dolce and Gabbana and other fashionista faves are flashed. There you’ll find such painfully hip sips as the raspberry catwalk, one of the menu’s many $12 martini variants.

“I felt very strongly that Chicago needed some place dedicated to the fashion industry,” Sanchez said.

Patrons can even get their fashion fix during a trip to the loo: the ladies’ room is piled high with the latest glossy mags and cosmetics. Club Moda, 25 W. Hubbard Street, (312) 670-2200.