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!!