Raise the Bar 

Take a sip (or two) of Atlanta's nightlife scene

So you've heard Atlanta has a hot nightlife scene, and you want to drink in as much as you can - in one night. The local bar/club scene offers a gamut of choices for the slickly dressed and sloppily drunk. To chill or swill, that is the question.

But remember: A liquid diet can eat away at your wallet and your liver. And you're gonna need some extra cash for cabs if you don't wanna arrive D.U.I. or D.O.A. But if you've got the means, we've got the ends. Here's CL's guide to just a handful of Atlanta's watering holes, top-to-bottoms-up.

10 p.m.: If you're gonna work your way up the drinking chain, you gotta start at the bottom. And what better place to begin than a bar named Uranus in Buckhead! Call me anal, but Uranus won't be as tight as some may like this early in the evening. Still, Buckhead's Bolling Way is a great place to initiate your evening - with body shots and scantily clad girls at Mako's, perhaps. For something classier, duck into the glossy "ultra-lounge" Babylon, or ascend to the Capital Grille for an impeccable martini.

10:27 p.m.: OK, you've just experienced all you need of Buckhead. Now it's time to catch a ride to Midtown to release your inner metrosexual.

10:45 p.m.: Hungry? Duck into Halo, the retro-modern nook in the basement of the Biltmore Hotel. Order a personal do-it-yourself s'mores, along with a glass of fine wine. From there, you have a few choices: You could brave the traffic around Crescent Avenue and experience pounding music or a severe ego-pounding as you navigate the long entry lines to Atlanta's original megaclubs (eleven50, Vision, Club 112, even Cosmopolitan/Lava Lounge). Or you could skip the lines and head to an unhurried lounge further down Peachtree Street. It's choice No. 2 for me.

Midnight: What slowed your roll? Oh yeah, it's prime cruising weather, and Peachtree Street is jammed with everyone in their tricked-out cars. After you survive the traffic, pull into the parking lot of the Georgian Terrace Hotel and head across the street to Bazzaar, where the furnishings are almost harem-like and the local DJs are impeccably high concept yet respectfully unobtrusive. (Parking in the Georgian Terrace lot is validated for up to two hours, y'all, so get that ticket stamped.)

Next stop: Head a few blocks south on Peachtree to Django, the "gypsy kitchen," where the basement dancefloor is always eclectric, whether house, hip-hop or world beat is playing. I'm here more for the patio out back, however, where I can simmer instead of swelter. Another option: a trip to the Mark, downtown's sleek boutique disco den. But time slips away, almost as quickly as that girl you bought a drink.

1 a.m.: Now's the time to play drunken Choose-Your-Own-Adventure: You could 1) check out the hipsters "slumming it" at Lenny's, the dingy doublewide slinging cheap drinks on Memorial Drive, or 2) join the hipsters lording it at the chic indie-rawk shop the Earl in East Atlanta, or 3) groove with the hipsters shimmying at Azul, the slim, shotgun lounge on Decatur Square. Me, I'm going with choice No. 4 at MJQ Concourse.

1:15 a.m.: MJQ is a subterranean rumpus room with some of the most reasonable beer prices in town, albeit for a limited assortment, as well as a revolving selection of the city's most thoroughly hype DJ talent and diverse, street-savvy clientele. (Keep in mind, MJQ only accepts cash.)

2:30 a.m.: Just because the party has to legally end at MJQ doesn't mean the night is over. Thanks to Atlanta City Council, you can still go to Underground Atlanta and drink more! Pick from the Alley Cat (where waitresses wear sexy kitty outfits, meow!), the live salsa of the tropical, gauzy Latin Sol, the old wave/industrial of the Future, or the drag queens/kings of Charlie Brown's Cabaret. Or visit all of them, thanks to Underground's special open-container privileges. Just wander around the muggy courtyard with the other plastered tourists (whether OTP or out-of-state) and say to yourself, "This must be why they call it HOTlanta."


THE ALLEY CAT 50 Upper Alabama St., Underground Atlanta. 678-904-2514. www.alleycatclub.com.

AZUL 141 Sycamore St., Decatur. 404-377-3311.

BABYLON 3073 Peachtree Road. 404-869-1511. www.babylonatlanta.com.

BAZZAAR 654 Peachtree St. 404-555-1234. www.bazzaaratlanta.com.

CAPITAL GRILLE 255 East Paces Ferry Road. 404-262-1162. www.thecapitalgrille.com.

CHARLIE BROWN'S CABARET 50 Upper Alabama St., Underground Atlanta. 678-904-4512. www.charliebrownscabaret.net.

CLUB 112 1055 Peachtree St. 404-607-7277.

COSMOPOLITAN/LAVA LOUNGE 45 13th St. 404-873-6189. www.cosmolava.com.

DJANGO 495 Peachtree St. 404-347-8648. www.djangoatlanta.com.

THE EARL 488 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com.

ELEVEN50 1150 Peachtree St. 404-874-0428. www.eleven50.com.

THE FUTURE 50 Upper Alabama St., Underground Atlanta. 678-904-2457. www.futureatlanta.com.

HALO 817 W. Peachtree St. 404-962-7333. www.halolounge.com.

LATIN SOL 50 Upper Alabama St., Underground Atlanta. 678-904-4357. www.latinsolatlanta.com.

LENNY'S 307 Memorial Drive. 404-577-7721.

MAKO'S 3065 Peachtree Road. 404-846-8096. www.anythinggoesatmakos.com.

THE MARK 79 Poplar St. 678-904-0050. www.themarkatlanta.com.

MJQ CONCOURSE 736 Ponce De Leon Ave. 404-870-0575. www.mjqatlanta.com.

VISION 1068 Peachtree St. 404-874-4460. www.visionatlanta.com.

URANUS 3049 Peachtree St. 404-816-9931.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Cover Story

Readers also liked…

More by Tony Ware

The Ultimate Doughnut Smackdown
The Ultimate Doughnut Smackdown

Search Events

  1. Goat Farm Economics 5

    Can art and good old-fashioned capitalism breathe new life into one of Atlanta’s most historic and overlooked neighborhoods?
  2. Solving downtown's homeless problem begins with taking the red pill 95

    Peachtree-Pine homeless shelter is the root of downtown's image problem
  3. Unanswered: CL's metro Atlanta officer-involved shooting database

Recent Comments

© 2016 Creative Loafing Atlanta
Powered by Foundation