During the weekend, I came to the conclusion that waiting in line to get into a bar is probably the fastest way to annihilate a good time. For those of you who hang out in Midtown, you know what I’m talking about.
Let’s face facts and admit that it’s a complete pain in the ass to waste a perfectly solid buzz on a grumpy bouncer who claims a venue is “at capacity.” I’ll call your bluff, thank you very much.
This frustration is why Midtown can, at times, be too much for its own good. On the flip side, it is also one of the selling points for the downtown locales in Gainesville.
With a greater selection of food, drink and dance options across wider city block coverage, downtown Gainesville brings charm and perhaps a little more sophistication to late night shenanigans.
Good thing Avenue writer Jessica Kegu knows what’s up in the scene. A token “downtown girl” if one ever existed, she agreed to show me the rounds in the world removed from Griffin’s realm.
Admittedly sore from the heels I’d recently broken in, I was more than happy to exchange the normal “going out” get up for a T-shirt, denim and flats. Topping off the casual with a good mood, Kegu and I were ready to see what this ‘hood had to offer. Bring it.
Now, let me dispel a couple of rumors that tend to tarnish downtown’s rep.
Rumor No. 1: Downtown is for hipsters. People, it’s time to get real. “Hipsters” — a term about as relevant as a cheeky Pitchfork record review — are old news. Move on. Sure, you’ll find fixies and TOMS, but summing up a whole neighborhood with a lame generalization is about as accurate as saying everyone who hangs out in Midtown belongs to either Team Sorority or Team McDouche.
Rumor No. 2: Downtown is expensive. While it is true that $5 all you can drink wristbands are basically nonexistent on the weekends, a quick visit to www.nightgator.com will fill you in on the evening deals. And if your palette is craving cultivation more advanced than a hurried gin and tonic, plenty of options exist in the realm of seasonal brews and cocktails in tall martini glasses. (The pumpkin beer at Stubbies is the jam. Get some.)
Rumor No. 3: Downtown is snobby. Okay, I will admit that I detect more of a too-cool-for-school air in this part of town, but that could be due to the fact that the number of pukers in the bushes is fewer than closer to campus.
Bottom line: The bad rep trailing downtown is bogus. Broaden the horizons upon which you get your party on. Here’s a cheat sheet with some spots I recommend:
Loosey’s: Karaoke and cheap burger nights. Need I say more?
The Midnight: Decent variety of booze, yummy eats and a sweet little side patio.
Downtown 101: If you feel like getting your swanky dance moves on.
The Bull: Reminds me of Brooklyn cafes (in a good way).
Speak Easy: Order an old fashioned, and pretend you’re on the set of Mad Men.
But don’t worry, my beloved Midtown. The appeal of rocking a mini-dress, platform pumps, strangers’ sweat and Solo cup Red Bull-vodkas remains close to my heart.
Read the review of Midtown here.