Parents, it's 11 p.m.: Do you know where your teen-agers are?
You do? You know your 14-year-old is at a nightclub in Bethesda swaying to "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and sipping a rumless pina colada? And you drove her there?
Nightclubbing for the teen-age set came to Montgomery County a month ago with the opening of Bullshooters, a no-parents-allowed club on Woodmont Avenue, in the rear of the Bethesda Holiday Inn at 8120 Wisconsin Ave. It's believed to be the first to open here in several years; an earlier club in Fairfax City lasted only six months.
You have to be 13 to 19 years old to get into Bullshooters, and alcohol and smoking are banned. Adults are too, which is the club's best feature, said 14-year-old Stefanie Irwin of Potomac.
After dropping off his daughter for her third visit to the club recently, one father said he had "reservations at first," but now would "just as soon have her here since there is no alcohol."
Barbara Ritchey of Rockville said she likes the nightclub as a social activity for her two teen-agers because their high school gives only two dances a year. She is opposed to private weekend parties for young people because of the drinking that often occurs, she said.
Ritchey said she followed her daughter the first time she drove to Bullshooters to make sure the teen parked safely and got inside the club. Her son came home from a recent night at the club and reported that he had "never had such a good time."
The hotel's general manager, Remo Sampieri, said most of the young club-goers are from Montgomery County, but said some come from as far as Dale City, Fairfax or Columbia.
The hotel receives approximately 20 calls a day from parents who ask about the club and its rules, he said. Parents can briefly tour the club if accompanied by a teen-ager, he said, but are asked not to stay.
Dana Rudnick, 15, of Rockville, said her parents "love it because they know where I am."
"We finally have a place to go . . . ," said her friend Diane Perlman, 16. "Before we had nothing to do besides go to the movies and hang out." Now, said Sarah Daly, 16, "We're not wandering around malls."
In contrast to school dances, the club has no chaperones, more freedom, better lighting and doesn't look like a gym, four teen-agers from Potomac said.
At first glance, Bullshooters appears to be a typical young adult nightclub. The lights are low, the music is loud and flashing colored lights and bubble-and-smoke machines bathe the dance floor. Large screens reflect music videos, and video games and a pool table fill one corner of the club.
The club's main appeal is that it allows them to meet people from other schools, teen-agers said. The clientele on a recent weekend was a mixture of urban, preppie and new wave.
Kevin Lacey, an 18-year-old senior from Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, said the club "gives me something to do with my weekends," and "I can't drink" and "I can't get into trouble."
Observed Tony Williams, a 16-year-old from Silver Spring: "It's the right type of place for kids."
Outside in the line of teen-agers waiting to get in the crowded club, a young girl admonished a nearby adult lighting up a cigarette with, "Smoking's bad for you, ya know."
About 500 customers show up on weekend nights, said Mary McBurney, food and beverage director of the Holiday Inn. Up to 100 have been waiting in line late into the evening on recent weekends.
Teen-aged bartenders at the large oval bar serve speciality fruit drinks for $2 each, soft drinks for $1, hot chocolate and free popcorn.
Admission to the club is $5 on weekend nights and $2 on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. The club is open from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. on weekends and until 11 p.m. on the other nights.
Deejay Mike Michaels said that in its previous life as a video and rock club, the facility attracted "not a desirable crowd, the low-life of Bethesda." Surveying the teen crowd,on a recent Friday night, he said, "We never had it this filled before."