Yup, its just time to come to terms with it. You’re over the club scene. You have no patience for line-ups, paying cover seems like a waste of money, you can’t take shots any more and you definitely can’t put up with anyone ‘grinding’ up on you. You don’t like clubs anymore. So what? Doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a night out, listen to good music and sip on some cocktails other than vodka sodas? Oh hells no.
Here are my top 5 places to get your dance and drink on (in no particular order):
1. D.W. Alexander (www.dwalexander.com) – this next statement will age me but this place used to be the old Foundation Room. Friday nights at Foundation Room were a weekly thing for me. About a year ago they rebranded and completed redesigned the inside actually making the space look bigger than it what it used. The last time I was there they were playing kick-as music, serving some delicious higher end cocktails while still allowing for some grown up conversation (minus the ass grabbing).
2. Churchill – I have never had a bad time here. This for me is like the Marben of a few years ago (I REALLY miss their Friday night parties) – dependable, guaranteed good time, the right crowd and amazing music. Its a small place with a minimalist feel – brick walls, chalkboards and a bar that takes up most of the space. But you can literally dance until you can’t feel your feet anymore with throwbacks from the 80s and 90s. I still need to go back and check out some of their specialty nights.
3. Valdez – I’m realize that this article is really making me age myself. Valdez used to be the old Cheval, also known as my stomping ground over 6 years ago. They also redesigned the space where you can hardly imagine the old narrow, dark, overpacked club anymore. Valdez has a urban, Latin street vibe oozing from every corner of the place. The food is delish, the drinks are ridiculously potent and their rooftop is always packed and open no matter what time of year. I’ve been there a few times and some nights its been wall slapping reggae and hip-hop or other times its been salsa night. Either way you will not be able to resist getting your dance on.
4. Joe Mamas – I’m a sucker for this place. They have live music on Friday and Saturday nights and some of their bands are so good that you don’t miss the fact that its not from a record. Usually the vibe is motown funk or a little old school R&B/Hip Hop which always makes my heart happy.
5. Carbon Bar – food specials + a DJ = guaranteed good night! Thursdays to Saturday Carbon Bar features $5 snacks and live music or DJs. The food is to die for so this line up has to be worth it.
Some Honorable Mentions (thank you to K.D and A.C. for the recos!)
– Barhop (no dancing but cool vibe, endless beer list and awesome food)
– Spirithouse (no dancing but you can drink and hide in their dark corners for hours)
– The Oxley
– The Ossington
– Bar Chef (get a seat by the bar and just be AMAZED by the concoctions these bartenders put together
– East Thirty-Six