Just Dance: Reviews of some of the hottest 18-and-over clubs in the Bay Area

January 19, 2011

With a new semester beginning, it’s easy to get stressed and start missing all the fun you had over winter break. But your studies don’t have to prevent you from having a good time. The following is a list of popular 18-and-over clubs in the Bay Area, complete with the best and the worst qualities of each. Feel free to clip out this page and post it right over your desk. That way, when you’re mulling over this week’s assignment for o-chem, you don’t have to look far to know where to go to let loose.

The Crib features a light-up dance floor. Club patrons dress in everything from flip-flops to heels, jeans to mini skirts. (Tarin Griggs)

Name: The Crib
Location: 715 Harrison Street, San Francisco
Digits: 415-546-7938
Time to Go: Thursday nights*
Website: http://www.thecribsf.com

The Crib is a dance club that plays Top 40 hip-hop, pop and techno. According to their website, they cater to “gay boys, girls and their friends.”

The Good:
Lovers of techno and house music frequent the light-up dance floor in the front room. Above, tables and couches provide space to take a break from the crowd. The main floor features Top 40 tracks along with railings and cages for both professional and amateur go-go dancers. Attire ranges from jeans and T-shirts to cocktail dresses. Most weeks feature a stage show. Past shows have included drag queens, vogue offs and musical performances.

The Bad:
As the dance floor becomes more crowded, some patrons have been described as overly aggressive when dancing with others.

A band jams on stage at indie nightclub Popscene in San Francisco. (Tarin Griggs)

Name: Popscene
Location: 155 Fell Street, San Francisco
Digits: 415-861-2011
Time to Go: Thursday nights
Website: http://www.popscene-sf.com

Popscene is an expansive indie nightclub that plays indie, electo, new wave and 80’s music.

The Good:
Popscene offers both the experience of a live concert and a dance club by featuring live bands followed by a DJ set. Club-goers are able to stand against the stage and enjoy the music in an intimate setting or take advantage of the bar, smoking lounge and balcony – which overlooks the main floor.

The Bad:
While many of the guests love to dance, there are more people who choose to stand on the sidelines. People who are more familiar with Top 40 music sometimes find Popscene’s music more difficult to dance to.

Name: Blake’s on Telegraph
Location: 2367 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley
Digits: 510-848-0886
Time to Go: Wednesday and Thursday nights
Website: http://blakesontelegraph.com/

Blake’s is a restaurant that features live entertainment and DJ’s who play Top 40 pop, hip-hop, rap and dance music. Food is served on the main floor, and DJs are located on the upper floor and the lower level.

The Good:
The crowd is often casual – like a house party where everyone is there to enjoy themselves – and consists largely of UC Berkeley students and older locals. Many of the 18+ dance events are free of charge. The events vary; past events have featured dubstep, metal, or current radio hits.

The Bad:
The dance floor for 18+ guests is located in the lower level, which has been likened to a basement. The space itself is small and often dark, and the barriers separating the crowd from the DJ are not very stable.

Name: Club 525 (formerly Club NV)
Location: 525 Howard Street, San Francisco
Digits: 415-225-5689
Time to Go: Tuesday nights
Website: http://www.sfclubs.com/

Club 525 attracts young college students ready to dance to a blend of popular mainstream songs in their semi-formal attire.

The Good:
This one-room club features a large dance floor, lavishly decorated seating areas, elevated DJ booth, a large bar and cages for amateur and professional go-go dancers. The open layout allows for air circulation, even when it is crowded. Cover charges are often inexpensive, and VIP cards for The X are often accepted here.

The Bad:
The outside lines for people on the guest lists are usually long and sometimes close early. Seating is often unavailable when the club is crowded.

Clubbers dance to Top 40 music at Club X. (Tarin Griggs)

Name: Club X
Location: 715 Harrison Street, San Francisco
Digits: 415-225-5689
Time to Go: Friday nights
Website: http://www.sfclubs.com/

Club X club features Top 40 music on the main floor and techno music in the front room.

The Good:
At Club X, there are 15,000 square feet of dance floor and go-go cages to make it easy to dance your heart out. Light and laser shows make the club visually interesting, too. If you get a VIP card, you may receive discounts.

The Bad:
The lines to get in are often very long. Once inside, men at the club have a reputation of dancing with girls without asking first.

Know some clubs that we didn’t mention? Let us know by leaving a comment on this article.

*Note: Doors open at about 10 p.m. and close at about 2:00 a.m. at each club. Check websites for details.

Just Dance: Reviews of some of the hottest 18-and-over clubs in the Bay Area was published on January 19, 2011 in Features

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