Room to move 

An attempt at a tropical oasis in the concrete jungle, the Boom Boom Room is Metrotainment's tiki-themed Martini Club replacement. It's aptly named, because "boom boom" is what pounds ferociously in your head after drinking from rum-drenched coconuts and fishbowls. Make no mistake, the themed drinks are festive, fruity and deceptively potent concoctions made from 51 rums designated by three strengths.

While martinis undeniably have kick, the tiki concept is better for ending a night of kicks. "Sour apple martini" doesn't have quite the same balls-out ring as "Coco Loco," "Voodoo Juice," "Shrunken Skull" or "Go Go Nuts," which makes good on its promise. Take, for example, two fellows passed out on the patio on a recent Wednesday night. This is pirate punch, sad sacks; get sea legs before coming back!

More embarrassing, however, is nothing a patron's done (yet). It's more an atmospheric component. The redecorating -- bamboo thatch, totems, wood-bead curtains, tiki reliefs, hula girls and grass skirts all basking in soft-focus sunset reds and blues -- sets an appropriate, attractive mood for the two-story bungalow, and is oddly relaxing considering the feisty cocktails. However, the music feels more disassociated than death metal at open-mic night.

Instead of tribal pulses of hollowed log drums and steely Caribbean barrel percussion, or even a lilting ukulele luau, upstairs are live acoustic medleys of a-ha, Soft Cell and Tool (really). Or the depressing twofer of Pearl Jam's "Black" followed by the Doors' "The End" over the downstairs stereo.

So far the tiki concept has not seen the boom associated with the name, but it's early yet. Meanwhile, the bartenders are friendly, the drinks are robust, and with a few tweaks the setting could complement. It's odd to watch Midtown go from clubbing destination to congested watering hole, but it goes better with seven ounces of rum.


The Boom Boom Room, 1140 Crescent Ave. Hours: Mon.-Sat. 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Drink prices: Beer $3-$4.25; liquor $7-$25; wine $5.50-$8. 404-873-0794.

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