The Bar Guide 2015: Nightclubs & lounges

Rounding up the best nightclubs and lounges in the Twin Cities.


Updated 4/2/2015

Rouge at the Lounge

411 2nd Av. N., Mpls. • 612-333-8800 • www.rougempls.com

For more than a decade the Lounge has been a bastion of the club scene. The upscale nightlife fixture hit the refresh button in 2013, rebranding as Rouge at the Lounge and chicly updating its three distinct rooms. The club’s impressive run continues with its Thursday Noche Latina parties and a weekend mix ranging from hip-hop to Top 40 and EDM.

 

Dream Ultra Lounge *NEW*

26 N. 5th St., Mpls. • 612-659-9000 • www.dreammpls.com

If at first a modern sports bar or debaucherous party bar doesn’t succeed, try a sleek, hip-hop-leaning nightclub. The former Drink space in downtown Minneapolis has gone through several phases. After stints as Wellman’s Pub and Uncle Buck’s, the prominent Warehouse District location is now bottle servicing as Dream.

 

Rev Ultra Lounge

731 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. • 612-770-8278 • www.revmpls.com

Formerly known as Marquee, the flashy basement club beneath Union books solid touring DJs with the help of local promoter Sound in Motion. It’s EDM-heavy, but every so often “proper” house studs such as Green Velvet (April 17) come through.

 

Bar Fly

711 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., • 612-333-6100 • www.barflyminneapolis.com

An early adopter of EDM and dubstep, Bar Fly caters to the neon 18-plus crowd. Each weekend, barely legal revelers donning fishnets and furry tails file into the main bar or its warehouse-y, upstairs space the Loft for ticketed shows.

 

Spades Nightclub

322 1st Av. N., Mpls. • 612-746-4004 • home.spadesnightclub.com

This successor to the short-lived Light (and Elixir before that) deals an increasing number of notable EDM acts.

 

Aqua

Brothers and nightlife players Steve and Jado Hark (who own the Fine Line and have a hand in the Venue) have kept their flagship club a velvet-rope staple since 2006. Elevated VIP areas make seeing and being seen at this blingy hot spot easier. (400 1st Av. N., Mpls. • 612-232-3232 • www.aquampls.com.)

 

The Gay ’90s

This straight-friendly gay bar’s drag shows are the draw, and the multilevel club’s 18-plus nights are popular. The storied Gay ’90s is part of Minneapolis history, and not just because it presumably has the state’s largest golden penis statue. (408 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. • 612-333-7755 • www.gay90s.com.)

 

Honey

Once you’ve tied one on at the upstairs Asian fusion restaurant Ginger Hop, retreat to the underground Honey, where DJs and live bands of every persuasion will lull you into a candlelit reverie. (201 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls. • 612-746-0304 • www.gingerhop.com • www.honeympls.com.) (M.B.)

 

Jetset

Sparse but stylish gay club. All orientations are welcome on the small dance floor. (115 N. 1st St., Mpls. • 612-339-3933 • www.jetsetbar.com.)

 

The Living Room/ Prohibition

Replete with a fireplace and high ceilings, the W Minneapolis’ Living Room has a pre- and post-clubbing aura, a place where a classy gent can prop up his feet with a swank cocktail. Take a ride up 27 floors to Prohibition — a citadel lounge worthy of the Rockefellers, a comfortable aerie with 360-degree views of downtown. (825 Marquette Av. S., Mpls. • 612-597-2413 • www.thelivingroom-prohibition.com) (Spencer Doar)

 

The Saloon

The multiple rooms in the Twin Cities’ busiest gay club offer disparate vibes, and the Saloon stays open until 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday (still, no booze past 2 a.m.). People-watch from the smokers’ patio adjacent to Hennepin Avenue. (830 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. • 612-332-0835 • www.saloonmn.com.)

 

Seven Sushi Ultralounge & Skybar

It’s a possibility that steak and sushi aren’t really the point at Seven. Both are serviceable, but really you’ve come to see and be seen. You’ve come for the beautiful babes, the “skybar” views, the servers who’ve been hired for their assets. No mere bar, it’s a three-level “destination” with scene, with style. (700 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. • 612-238-7770 • www.7mpls.com.) (M.B.)

 

The Tangiers

This Warehouse District nightspot seems to be finding its niche with post-collegiate clubbers looking to see and be seen. The red-rope lounge sits a few blocks outside roisterer’s row along 1st Avenue. But its collared-shirt crowd likes to party. (116 1st Av. N., Mpls. • 612-599-2651 • www.thetangiersmpls.com.)

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