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Nightlife Thrives downtown 

Tantric Thursdays offer a new draw at Thrive

The cop at the front door of Thrive is looking grumpy. It's not obvious why he's there, except perhaps to keep out the homeless people who sleep downtown. The contrast is stark; outside, half a block from the pretty girls in designer halter-tops smoking cigarettes in front of Thrive's doors, a man dozes in a doorway under an old sleeping bag. Inside, it's almost possible to believe Atlanta will fulfill its destiny to become the bastard love child of L.A. and Miami, with Las Vegas as a doting godparent.

On Thursday nights, Thrive removes some of the tables in the dining room to make room for a DJ booth and a large screened box for live go-go dancers. Club music throbs, and the crowd can become thick. At the hostess stand, cocktail waitresses group together to gossip, wearing stiletto heels and checkered micro-mini skirts. This is Tantric Thursdays, "a sensual and exotic supper club experience," according to the press materials.

Manager A.D. Allushi, who comes to Thrive hot off the floor of Bluepointe, is a sight to behold. His hair defies gravity and his glasses are diamond-studded (a source claims they are real). He flits around the floor, laughing and hugging people. When asked about the defunct B.E.D. across the street, he says "they're looking at some concepts. I don't mind the competition; I welcome it. I hope this whole area can become the area where people want to be."

It's time for a new girl in the go-go box, and a perfect but sweaty dancer takes a seat on a cushy banquet to relax before the next shift begins. She's wearing sleeves that don't really become a shirt, tights that resemble chaps but are much less modest, black hipster shorts with a sequin waistband, and fur shag leg warmers. Her long, black hair brushes the seat as she sips a drink.

Over at the bar, the mango martinis are pouring, the sushi is flying off the counter, and pretty people are schmoozing. Awww ... Miami would be proud.

Thrive Tantric Thursdays. Every Thursday from 8:30 p.m.-2 a.m. 101 Marietta St. 404-389-1000. www.thriveatl.com.

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