‘Rue’s Hosting’ curates a supportive entry into Los Angeles nightlife
A summer trip to Las Vegas and a mustering up of courage is all it took for Rudalys Ruiz, a senior majoring in global health, to imagine her perfect social life once she returned to campus.
Ruiz’s lack of a strong friend group on the trip forced her to take matters into her own hands. To create the experience she aspired to have, she spent the entire trip going up to random strangers, chatting with them and seeing where it would take her.
Ruiz felt fearless. And despite feeling terrified in the moment, the reward of a good time was all she needed to convince herself to carry that same energy back on campus and into a new career endeavor.
Described as a “whim of the moment” decision, Ruiz’s promotional service, Rue’s Hosting, coordinates outings to Los Angeles restaurants and clubs and provides access to private events. For each event Rue’s Hosting promotes, Ruiz ensures that a group of individuals have an amazing experience.
For her most recent events, Ruiz has focused on building a comfortable relationship with female clientele, conducting outings of around 10 to 30 women.
Her business’s female focus comes at a time when L.A. nightlife can often feel overwhelming and unsafe for women. A night out at L.A.’s most popular clubs often carries risks of being racially profiled, harassed or assaulted for many women. These negative interactions can sometimes seem unavoidable for Ruiz, who deals with this behavior both on and off the job.
“Sometimes the men that you encounter on these endeavors can be really disrespectful, misogynistic and racist,” Ruiz said. “I need to always remind myself, ‘You never want to overreact, even if they disrespected you and you have the right to overreact, because all it’s going to do is prove them right.’”
It is Ruiz’s understanding of what it’s like to be a woman on the other end of L.A nightlife that allows her to look after the women she caters to.
“Sometimes it can be unsafe, really uncomfortable and it can go to different extremes,” said Jolie Gross, a senior majoring in business administration. “But having a strong woman there will make you feel more comfortable.”
Whether it’s creating a group chat for every outing, communicating with bouncers who give women a hard time when getting in or making sure security is available for any altercation or uncomfortable situation, Ruiz takes precautions to ensure that women don’t have the same negative experiences that they might’ve had in the past.
“I want Rue’s Hosting to have a strong feminine foundation because we have to stick together at the end of the day,” Ruiz said. “Because no matter how much we think we can separate ourselves from the patriarchy, it is still constantly looming over our heads.”
Her service works in partnership with RARE Nightlife, a promotional company that works directly with exclusive venues to provide them with guests. As one of their promoters, Ruiz ensures that the venues that work with RARE Nightlife gain traction.
While Ruiz has generally received support from others in the promotional scene, as a young female college student in a male-dominated field, Ruiz’s legitimacy as a promoter can often be downplayed. For her, receiving doubt and negativity from others is something that comes with being in the industry.
Leslie Ann Lopez, the chief operating officer of RARE Nightlife and a recent UCLA graduate who partnered with Ruiz earlier this semester, expressed a similar sentiment.
“I think being able to navigate [the space] is understanding your own worth as a girl or minority. Even if you’re not in a position of dominance, I think there’s still a level of respect that you should be getting,” Lopez said.
However, Ruiz continues to prove herself. In only its first month of operation, Rue’s Hosting has gained access to some of the most exclusive clubs and star-studded events in L.A., including a Rich The Kid performance, a Zues afterparty and just recently, GloRilla’s afterparty for the American Music Awards.
“Ruiz has definitely shown me a lot of new places that I wasn’t aware of. She knows all the best spots,” said Lexie Jackson, a graduate student studying entrepreneurship and innovation. “She has an insider view and knows which ones are good and which ones aren’t.”
Currently, Rue’s Hosting has weekly Sunday dinners at Toca Madera followed by a night at Nightingale Plaza, an exclusive nightclub in West Hollywood. Every Wednesday, complimentary dinners are also given at Tao Restaurant, followed by an outing to The Highlight Room, a rooftop bar and grill located on top of the Dream Hollywood hotel.
As a fairly new endeavor, outings by Rue’s Hosting have consisted primarily of Ruiz’s friends, However, Ruiz hopes to branch out and garner more clientele, serving all genders, primarily using the service’s instagram page, @rueshosting, for promotion.
The service’s expansion also goes beyond just dinners and nightclubs, as Ruiz plans to host a variety of events, such as house parties, barbecues and downtown L.A. rooftop parties in the upcoming semester.
While Ruiz’s nightlife experiences span the gamut — both personally and professionally — her social life drastically differed during the period of isolation that came from living through the coronavirus pandemic, which left her freshman year experience unexpectedly cut short.
Ruiz described how unlike most classes, the freshman class – now seniors – lacked the same level of guidance from upperclassmen on how to navigate the University’s social scene.
The global shutdown left people unsure of how to approach social interactions, and Ruiz emphasized how in an attempt to return to normalcy, a lack of transparency arose.
“Coming back here as a senior and having a full perspective of what it was like beforehand and what it’s like now, a lot of people are struggling,” Ruiz said. “And we’re not so open to talk about it because we are putting up this facade.”
Ruiz hopes Rue’s Hosting provides people with a glimpse of how things were before, promoting an atmosphere that prioritizes building relationships and connecting with one another.
Rue’s Hosting’s pre-game dinners have aided in facilitating the one-on-one conversation and more comfortable experience that Ruiz has been wanting.
Prior to traveling with groups to nightclubs, Ruiz often hosts more intimate complimentary dinners. There, people are forced to “break the ice,” interacting with new faces and bonding over the fun night they anticipate having.
“Her service is more like a friendship, a connection. She wants to connect with you on a deeper level, which a lot of promoters don’t do.” Gross said.
Growing up in Massachusetts, Ruiz lived a relatively sheltered life, making L.A. nightlife an adjustment that she had to learn how to navigate. However, Ruiz accredits the values instilled by her mother and her life back home for how she runs her business today.
“I grew up with the value of integrity; just focus, and you’ll get the things that you want,” Ruiz said. “And one of the things I want is a fun atmosphere.”