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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Night life in Gainesville is certainly not for the faint of liver.

This large college town with an active Greek community and a multitude of eclectic clubs comes with its own set of night life procedures, from which place has what special/event/rager to the people you show up with.

Here’s our advice for doing Gainesvegas the right way:

1. Pregame like no other

Whether you’re underage or a seasoned veteran of the night life, it never hurts to pregame.

Think of how much money you’ll be saving by buying a handle of vodka than buying overpriced diluted-cranberry-and-vodka drinks at the club.

2. Get yourself an established D.D.

Gainesville cops are no joke. Don’t think you won’t get caught drunk driving.

Crying won’t save you here.

3. Know where to go and when

Various nights at various places boast a wide array of specials, themed nights and certain crowds.

In Midtown, Balls and Salty Dog are tiny, cramped and all around pretty gross bars, but they are great for a cheap drink and some fratty sing-alongs.

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Gator City, which is attached to Envy, has 10-cent wells on Friday nights, along with other deals throughout the week, such as Karaoke night on Thursday night and ladies night Wednesday night.

Ladies night will be your best friend, no matter if you are a guy or girl.

101 Cantina has Margarita Mondays — enough said — and other specials each night, but don’t even try to get in with a fake I.D. — they require two forms half of the time for baby-faced freshmen.

This new wave of students just missed out on late night gorge spot Munchies 420, which was right above Fat Daddy’s — known for its frozen alcoholic drinks and athlete-spotting.

Speaking of which, Grog is a whole other story. I’d put money down that it is the stickiest-floored, grossest Midtown spot, but Ryan Lochte loves it.

(Note: He is known as more of an eyesore to the Gainesville community now than anything. Thanks, “WWRLD?”)

And of course, visit The Swamp for great outdoor seating/drinking space, but that’s the extent.

The Midnight, The Bull, Tall Paul’s and most smaller bars and restaurants downtown are more on the hipster side and will be sure to provide an interesting drink experience.

But the clubs downtown are the total opposite, as 101 Downtown, famous for Techno Tuesdays, Sharab, Simon’s Nightclub, known for techno Simon’s Saturdays, and the rest of the dimly lit, sticky-floored clubs are anything but mellow.

Spannk is best known for Neon Liger, the EDM-playing, eclectic Le Neon Liger dance parties usually on Saturday nights.

Like country music? :08 has the whole nine yards on Thursday nights: line dancing, cowboy boots and free drinks for ladies before midnight.

Where you go depends on the vibe you want, but the right place with the right music is crucial. A little online research never hurt to see what’s happening which night.

4. Follow Facebook event pages and promoters

There are quite a few nightlife promoters, including Uber Promotions and The Dynasty Group, and Facebook pages that let you know if any major events are happening and what “night” each club has each day, such as a ladies night.

You can often times get on a “list” which will allow you to get into a club earlier, at a cheaper price and through a special line with fewer people.

Better yet, make personal friends with a promoter.

They see you, they get you in, problem solved.

This story originally ran on page 30 on 8/14/2013 under the headline "Your four-step guide to navigating Gainesville’s night life"

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