Saturday, July 11, 2009

Club Reports: Downtown Gainesville

It's been many years since downtown Gainesville was a place I used to party in but a trial this week brought me back to Gatorland so I thought I'd check out the local scene. Football season is just around the corner and maybe some of you will be up there. I can definitely tell you that if you're over age 26 or so you're going to feel really old going to most of Gainesville's clubs.

Club life in Gainesville is still mostly downtown, an area of old buildings and mostly closed store fronts. There are some new condos that have been built and there are a lot of restaurants and clubs. There is a new courthouse and a mid-rise Hampton Inn on the way. Even American Apparel has a new store downtown.

The top club from back-in-the-day, Simon's, is no longer there. Housed in an old Main Street theater and entered through an alley in the back, the place looks like it's now called Plasma. Simon's was the place for techno and house and he would bring in DJ's from all over. When most cities in Florida banned "raves", Gainesville still allowed them (until they caught on) and Simon's was the place. Animal House is no longer there either. This was the place for dwarf tossing before that too got banned! But the gay club University Club (UC) is still in business as are Lillian's Music Store, Fat Tuesday and Durty Nellies.

What used to be cities best Top 40 club, Central City is still in it's University Avenue location but is now called :08 and is country. A long line of stylish girls in Abercrombie short shorts and cowbow boots stretched around the corner. Rüe Bar is where Gruv used to be. Other new places include the trendy looking Sharab Lounge on S. Main (dance floor upstairs) and Spannk on SW 1st Street featuring 80's/90's on Thursdays and House on Friday/Saturdays.

Old folks might stick with Lillian's, Dragonfly, Copper Monkey or the bar inside Harry's. As for the trial.....we won! Sweet time in the old city. GO GATORS!!


crp said...

I spent many nights at Rue-Bar. They played the occasional dance song; I remember the Eric Prydz/Bob Sinclar variety was played every time I remember being there (this was 2006). Dance music is pretty popular with the students. I also remember the now closed, Rehab, which was about as nice as you'd expect from any club adorning that name. The gay club (the UC) played more progressive house/trance music, but I don't have anything to report on that club. Compared to the college town down the road, Tallahassee seems to have more to offer in the way of Dance music (namely, 101/Mint, Saturday nights). Go Gators!

KingBob said...

The only partying I ever did in Tallahassee was at places called Big Daddies and the Musical Moon. I'm sure those are gone but I understand Bullwinkle's is still in business though.

crp said...

Yeah they are, what I like about Tallahassee is that there are different districts of nightlife. Big Daddies/Bullwinkle's are both in business, but they're on the college side of town. Chubby's is down the road from that, and about twice a year they have a glo-party and bring in house dj's from Miami. I prefer the downtown scene, where the crowd is a bit older than the downtown Gainesville scene. There's Mint, Paradigm, Clyde's and a new late night lounge about to open all downtown.

KingBob said...

I do recall Clydes downtown near the Capitol. I think it is or at least was called "Clydes & Costellos". I recall seeing Tom Gallagher in there. Yup, Gainesville is pretty much downtown only. Don't know any of the other ones!