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Atlanta's nightlife scene is as diverse as they come. Whether you like hip hop rhythms, smooth jazz or Irish folk music, Atlanta nightlife can deliver.
An upscale club that’s a top nightlife spot is Koo Koo Room. You’ll have to dress to the nines and be prepared for top shelf bottles. Chill out on velvet couches or get up and dance to the of-the-moment tracks, from chart-toppers to hip hop beats.
Another trendy spot is Lava Lounge in Midtown, named for its lava-surfaced bar and beach-like atmosphere. Enjoy signature martinis by a blazing fireplace. The multi-level building shares patio space with another nightspot, Cosmo, both catering to a younger crowd.
Blues-lovers, head to Blind Willies, named after the legendary Georgia songwriter “Blind” Willie McTell. Known as Atlanta’s finest blues bar, reservations are not accepted at the packed house where local and national talents, including regulars such as House Rocker Johnson, “keep the blues alive.”
Atlanta has a diverse nightlife scene—there's really something for everybody. Beer aficionados know the best spot for a cold brew is the laid-back Brick Store in Decatur, where more than 200 different beers are served daily. The upstair Belgian Beer Bar offers eight Belgian draughts that change regularly, as well as more than 120 Belgian and Belgian-style bottled beers.
Another cozy spot in the nearby Virginia Highland/Morningside neighborhood is The Family Dog. This late-night pub hosts live, local bands on most Saturday nights and offers a menu of delicious farm-to-table cuisine, craft beer and creative cocktails. The owners are music buffs and regularly host music-themed dinners, so you never know what you might expect at this neighborhood watering hole.
And if live music is your thing, Atlanta has tons of awesome venues that host a wide range of musicians, including Eddie's Attic in Decatur, which focuses on independent singers and songwriter; Churchill Grounds in Midtown for amazing live jazz; The Earl in East Atlanta for more alternative and punk bands; and Smith's Olde Bar in Midtown for, well, rock 'n' roll and all of the above.
If you want a place to just hang at the bar and drink some of the city's best cocktails, Holeman & Finch Public House is where you need to go. The tables are set up to encourage communal seating, and the menu is designed for sharing, too. Of course, the burger is what's legendary here--but you won't find it on the menu. The chefs announce "it's burger time" at 10 p.m. sharp, so if you want one, you better be there before that or you might as well forget it. They serve just 24 each night.
Atlanta is also home to several big night clubs where the club crowd goes to "see and be seen." Tongue & Groove is a veritable institution on the Atlanta club scene—the original location opened in 1994 in the heart of the old Buckhead club district but was shuttered in 2007 to make way for the Streets of Atlanta (now called Buckhead Atlanta) retail development. But just one year later the club reopened in its new home at Lindbergh City Center and has been a trend setter ever since.
Just across the street From Tongue and Groove is another glitzy club, the Gold Room Atlanta. (The name is a play on The Gold Club, the infamous strip club that once occupied the space until it was shut down because owner Steve Kaplan was indicted on federal racketeering charges.) It's now a chic and modern space with multiple bars, dance floor, champagne bar and signature cocktail menu.
In Midtown is where you'll find one of the newest clubs to hit Atlanta. Reign features state-of-the-art lighting and sound, as well as one of the largest dance floors in town. There's also a VIP lounge, Vanquish, where you'll find high-end, plush couches, bottle service and a designated bar.