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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Five years ago this week: Atlanta speakeasies

click to enlarge Party like it's 2004
  • Party like it's 2004

Everything old is new again, right? That's the logic behind this post — the first in a weekly series where we dig into our archives and revisit what Atlantans were talking about in, say, 2004.

So ... mid-February, 2004: The city was mere weeks into the horror that was earlier bar-closing hours. How did crafty Atlantans adapt at the time? By setting up speakeasies, of course.

Now, five years after our drinking hours were rudely curtailed, is there much of an after-hours scene left? Honestly, I don't know. Perhaps that's because I'm five years older. Ugh.

Without further ado, here's staff writer Scott Henry's 2004 take on late, late, late-night parties.

Speakeasy street

Where the beat don't stop until the break of dawn ... and then some

It's 5 o'clock Sunday morning, and though the icy wind is unforgiving as it slices through alleyways, the insistent thump of house music echoing up the back stairwell of this smoky downtown bunker signals that the party inside is just warming up.

There's no one minding the door, so you're free to wander past the DJ table, the handful of dancers, the busy cash bar, and head up the stairs, where clusters of urbanites sit chatting or simply chilling out with a cigarette.

"We usually get going about 4 a.m. and try to wrap up around 6:30," says the party's host, a casually dressed thirtysomething who calls himself "Fulfeel." He's been throwing late-nights for in-the-know Atlantans for several months now; ever since City Hall imposed earlier closing times for bars and nightclubs, he's found demand for his after-hours soirees soar.

Continue reading Speakeasy street ...

(Photo by Scott Henry)

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