Sunday, June 27, 2010

Where has all the nightlife gone?

I normally don't do nightclub or bar reviews but after being in some of the best party spots around the world and experiencing what they have to offer, I can honestly say that St. Louis is probably in the bottom million of fun nightlife cities; 500 spots under Howth, which is a fishing town in Ireland with about 8,000 people and a handful of bars.  I've partied in Tokyo, Dublin and Beirut.  In the states I've partied in Las Vegas and LA and Fort Lauderdale and Miami. To think that the bars and clubs in St. Louis are cool, you either have to be drunk or have no worries at all in your head or wallet.
  Last night, my wife and I got a chance to party at 3, of the so called "best spots" in St. Louis.  These are spots that are listed multiple times in the Alive magazine and in the RFT. These three places were: The Atomic Cowboy, The Fox Hole and Shiver.  I will go into detail with some information and relevance with each of these locations.

The Atomic Cowboy is listed as a "smoke-free bar/Tex-Mex joint/art gallery/espresso bar" online and we were there for the biggest party of the year: the Ultra White Party for Pride Week.  The Atomic Cowboy had a DJ, a free beer bar and lots of sitting room for this white party.  However, none of it seemed to help the 95 degree weather outside last night. The party was outside on their patio.  The DJ was horrible, the beer was a little warm, or seemed that way, and the fans they had going to cool people off, were not enough.  This great party, was boring, had it not been for our friends and chatting because the music not once got to a rhythm or sound that could be danced to.  I found myself wasting the time watching The Good, The Bad and The Ugly on one of their TV's, which was positioned above the bar.  VIP tickets got us free beer, but no food nor a taste of anything that came from this "Tex-Mex" establishment.  They had said that food was available from 7-9 and yet not a single plate was seen.

Next to the Atomic Cowboy or inside of it or however this works, was the Fox Hole. The Fox Hole was listed in the Alive magazine as the "best entertainment" and I can't figure out why.  The Fox Hole is just a tad larger than an actual fox hole.  The room is painted black, with uneven floors, warehouse style ceilings and no decorations on the wall. It is probably 16 feet wide and 25 feet long and has no air conditioning.  That's right, you heard me, NO AC.  So, I'm not a science whiz, but if you have maybe 60 people crowded into a tiny space with no AC and its 95 outside, what temperature is it inside?  I didn't think it was legal for such a place to be open with no AC.  The entertainment was a show performed by Lola and her girls but we had to leave after the 3rd act.  When you have loud unrecognizable music blaring at you in very hot weather to the point where it just sounds like a mellow hum, it doesn't make the heat any more bearable.  What did cool down the audience was watching the astonishing aerials of Michelle Minx, which as usual, were incredible.  But after her show, there was nothing that would have made me want to stay in that un-cooled area, which actually was likely just a garage.

The last place on our night trip was club called Shiver, which again, was listed in Alive magazine as being "Hot as Ice" in a feature article on page 24. The picture is of their ice room, which has ice sculptures and vodka.  Explaining that only $20 a person will let you stay in the ice cooler, with some vodka while wearing a parka.  It also mentions the "small plates of American cuisine" which is odd because their kitchen is still, not open.  So, not only is that ice cooler not as cool as it seems, but you can't enjoy the food because it doesn't exist.  Club Shiver had no cover charge and we only went there because we knew one of the bartenders.  Inside, DJ Silver played his version of music, which composed of playing 3 seconds of a song and then a beat that makes Strongbad's techno song a million times better.  The people there could have had an easier time dancing to a song played entirely on a vuvuzela. Something tells me that most of the clientele were only there to get drunk. While some were dressed with suits and gowns, others were dressed in jeans and flipflops, so it appears that there is no dress code. Which is sad, because this bar looked like a NY hotspot, until the people were in there and the music turned on.  Also, lets talk about that cooler: its a meat locker.  I don't mean this figuratively.  I have 8 years of experience working in a restaurant: Home Town Buffet.  The coolers were made of sheets of stainless and had the normal cooler ventilation on the ceiling.  This is how the ice room is, as it is a cooler, with ice benches and an ice sculpture, but that's it.  I don't want to enjoy anything inside of a meat locker and as it may have been a nod back to St. Louis's mafia past. Overall, even though we paid nothing to get in, we quickly got out.

All I want in St. Louis is to find a bar or club that plays music, as in new original or music you can dance to.  So, play a lady gaga song instead of a 10th generation remix, people will dance and love you Mr. DJ.  I seriously think I have more skills than these DJ's. Hey DJ's, if you play music and no one is dancing, then you are not doing your job correctly.  It is pretty sad that the best place that we have gone to in a few years that has the best dancing music is the Hustler club.  A strip club has better music than the clubs and bars in St. Louis.  What does that tell you about our city?  Is it just me?  It could be and maybe I wasn't drunk enough to think that the sound of a low hum with a screeching sound was great dancing music. If I had money, I'd make a bar/club that would last for years as a great nightlife spot.  As for what is here now, I'm disappointed.  It's sad for St. Louis, trying to make itself a hotspot when it can only achieve that luke warm spot in the pool where all the kids pee.

1 comment:

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