The St. Louis club scene

| Scene Regular Features Editor

For those of you who are convinced there is no excitement to be had in St. Louis, think again; all you need is a little spontaneity. And, of course, being 21 certainly doesn’t hurt.

On a particularly uneventful Saturday night, a friend and I decided to check out St. Louis’ club scene. We weren’t familiar with many clubs and hadn’t formulated a plan, but, it turns out, that ensured an exciting and surprising evening.

We had heard good things about Dante’s, so we decided to make that our first stop. After taking the Metro a little too far downtown, we hopped in a cab outside Union Station. We liked our driver so much that, after he dropped us off outside Dante’s, we dubbed him our official cabbie for the evening and asked him for his card. After explaining to us that he didn’t have one, he scrawled his cell phone number on the back of a hustler’s club card instead.

Dante’s is a great venue—the club is housed in what looks like an old warehouse, painted a rusty red. Inside, the large dance floor was littered with swirls of pale blue lights and, surprisingly, very few people. In fact, the club was so empty that we were able to just stroll into the private VIP room, where guests are treated to their own dance floor and bar stocked with Grey Goose. Had there been more people, I’m sure the room would have been a great place for a party. But in this case, it held our attention only for a few minutes.

While Dante’s is known as a Latin club, it is frequented by all kinds and all ages of people. But on this particular night, we stuck out like two very sore thumbs: We were certainly the youngest people in the room and the only non-Hispanic customers.

Little did we know that several of the Latin songs the DJ was playing were actually accompanied by choreography, which everyone else seemed to know except us. So while the rest of the dancers were following each other step by step, my friend and I danced off to the side. He was teaching me to salsa, complete with crazy dips and turns. We certainly made our own fun at Dante’s.

On our way out, we called our hustler’s club cabbie and gave him the address of our next destination—Attitudes, a club someone from Dante’s had recommended.

Attitudes seemed like it might have been just what we were looking for. We chatted with the woman manning the door before entering and heard chart-topping dance hits blasting from inside. It definitely wasn’t salsa music, which I had learned isn’t really my cup of tea.

After about five minutes of scoping out the venue, we realized that we had, once again, unknowingly turned ourselves into very sore thumbs. Attitudes, it turns out, is one of St. Louis’ premier gay/lesbian nightclubs. We quickly realized that the chatty woman who checked our IDs was, in fact, a man.

Since we had just paid $5 each for entrance, we decided to stick around for a while. After all, the music was great, the dance floor was busy and there was a fantastic bar. We ended up staying far longer than either of us had expected.

It was clear that we were the only heterosexual couple in the club, but that didn’t stop us from having fun. Even though the overtly sexual dance moves of several of the other couples were more than a little intimidating, we jumped right in and had a blast.

The club is split up into several different rooms. The main room houses a dance floor, an elevated seating area, a stage (complete with a dancing cage for any exhibitionists) and a very large, colorful bar. Several side rooms housed a pool table and a dimly lit lounge. Customers can even pay $1 to request particular songs.

At around 2:30 a.m., we flagged down a cab. After unsuccessfully trying to find another clubbing spot, we decided to head home. I was hoping to be able to write a standard review of some St. Louis clubs, but I realized that having a fun night out in St. Louis is less about where you go and more about the attitude you go with.

If you’re looking to escape your typical weekend routine at Morgan Street and Frat Row, try rounding up a group of friends, and just see where the night takes you. It’s the nights you don’t plan out in advance that end up being the most eventful. So try something new and be spontaneous. With all the nightlife options St. Louis has to offer, you won’t be disappointed.

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