by Jonathan Baker - 319 Reviews - 185 List
Friendly beast aside, sometimes you just need to let loose a little bit. And, when you're looking to blow off some steam, the worst thing you can ask for is a room full of dullards. So put on your party hat, people. From the freak show that is the Clermont Lounge to the tropical popped-collar crowd at Flip Flops, here's our guide for getting wild.
Updated: November 02, 2009
Getting wild depends on a lot of things: atmosphere, people, extra-curricular activities. But taking it deep at an underground club with dance-happy youngsters and uber-cheap beer should be the model for how to find a wild child. (Unisex bathrooms greatly help, as well.) The best night to hit MJQ has traditionally been Wednesdays, when there is a free cover and it's always packed with talent. Good luck getting to that 9-5 on Thursday morning.
The Clermont is Atlanta's institution for wild times. You're encouraged to never go there sober--things get started on the later end--and the experience typically spurs more partying after you leave. Enter the club (located in the back of the gritty, old Clermont Hotel) and you'll notice the lounge is part dance club, part strip club, part surreal retro movie. The ?dancers? are all well north of middle age and the drink prices are dirt cheap. Blondie's beer-can crushing is a must-try.
Wild things don't just come in the form of youthful artistic types looking for trouble at seedy hidden haunts. It goes for the dolled-up crowd, too. And what better bar to pop up your collar and slam drinks than Flip Flops? This brightly colored, tropically themed bar makes Midtown seem like spring break circa whenever you were in college. We find it tough NOT to get into trouble wherever there are booze-heavy slush puppy machines? and Flip Flops has 9 of `em.
Because even the old Buckhead set needs to throw down sometimes, and Johnny's seems like a movie from another decade? about another decade. This freak show is the one place in Atlanta where it's almost impossible to 1.) take yourself too seriously, and 2.) not have fun. It's the sort of place where both old and young people like to be weird, and it's not uncommon to see a little mix `n? mingle spanning over two or three decades. Don't be shy now.
Dark places with no windows are traditionally great places to go buck wild. Throw in the fact this bar has live bands blast cover tunes to packed crowds four nights a week, and we question if there is any better room than the 10 High to let loose. Drunken singalongs and on-stage karaoke merely add an excuse to get to know your neighbor. So slam a few Whynatte bombs and squeeze that gal who just slayed your all-time favorite AC/DC number. Wild lives at the 10 High.
During the evening hours, sleepy ol? Famous Pub serves a neighborhood clientele in the North Druid Hills landscape. Wings, beer and sports are the main attraction. But as the clock gets closer to striking midnight, all kinds of weirdness starts happening in the back room, as Emory kids and in-the-know locals come in looking for trouble. Dance music blares, folks grind it out on the dance floor and the bar stays open probably later than it should.
While this might not be the spot where straight dudes want to set up shop (we know this from experience), it's holy-good-times-central for our gay friends. The crowd at Blake's isn't all that interested in having girls in their playground, either, and they aren't afraid to say so. They like men of all types, though, and they want to party. Feed that wild side, boys: Head to Blake's.
If you want a nice selection of youthful tail, Graveyard is where popped collars and hipsters collide. With movies projecting on walls, live bands and impromptu photo shoots, it seems like something that Warhol would go for, yet somehow this East Atlanta staple manages to attract both the indie-rock elite and prepped-out kids who have wandered from their normal post in Virginia Highland. Late-night dance parties and cheap booze makes everyone get along smashingly.
The Highland Tap looks like a grand old steak cellar, serving prime rib and martinis with side cars. But, as the hours wear long, you get fewer businessmen doing deals on cocktail napkins and more businesswomen wheeling and dealing with the younger set at the bar. Atlanta's best spot to catch a cougar might catch you off guard as a place that's overly masculine, but most cougars are experienced and intelligent. They know where to find men.
Let us clarify. It's not simply Star Bar, but the little-known downstairs bar at this Little 5 Points institution. With hardly a window to the outside, the dark, cavernous hole is perfect for cozying up to someone new--or drowning your sorrows with the rockabilly-bartender-turned-psychiatrist, Adrian. Cell phone reception sucks (but we like not being distracted by mobile Facebook updates), and the sunken patio is the only escape route.