Spin Nightclub: a Review
If you head into Chicago's gay district going north, you're welcomed by Spin nightclub, a three-story brick building on the corner of Belmont and Halsted, the ostensible gateway to Boystown. They host a very popular dollar drink night on Wednesdays that I attended once or twice over the summer - as you can see from the awful picture of Jeffrey and I on their website - but lately they've disappointed me.
The night before Thanksgiving I went to Spin and was somewhat dismayed to find they'd raised their cover charge from $5 to $7. This on it's own is a 40% increase, but added to that is the cost of coat check: another two bucks. Now I know some people who skip coat check entirely and carry their things with them all night, but for me that's a hassle. A thick winter coat gets in the way, has to be constantly watched over, and inhibits dancing. So that's already $9 I'm spending just to get in the door - and I go to dollar drink nights to save money.
Admittedly there is a way to get out of cover charge, but no one has ever been able to explain to me what precisely that is. Over the summer Spin's website said cover is free if you show up before eleven o'clock, but this was slightly misleading - cover is free if you show up before eleven o'clock and if your name is on a list. How exactly does one get on the list? No idea. I think you have to call ahead of time or know an employee, but the fact of the matter is I never asked. I was scared they'd think I'm a complete loser: "Ha, this kid doesn't know how to get on the List! If he has to ask, he's definitely not cool enough."
Anyways, back to the night before Thanksgiving. After coat check I met up with my regular group of friends and began our normal routine: wandering around the club sipping our drinks - more cranberry than vodka, let me tell you - and wondering why no one notices us. (lol) I've got to hand it to Spin; they've got a great space - a cavernous basement dancefloor, a raised platform with pool tables on the main level with another dancefloor in back, and even a little upstairs bar. The drag shows that go on downstairs every hour or so are also pretty entertaining, and they've got some fairly attractive staff members walking around in short-shorts, including Shane from the Chicago season of Real World. But closing time ruined my night.
At 2 am I got into line at coat check to get my things - a line that took a full half hour to get through. The reason for the delay? The guys working coat check had somehow managed to lose the number tags that keep each coat in place or otherwise misplaced them, meaning there was no way of telling what belonged to whom. So, after waiting thirty minutes in a line of increasingly annoyed customers, I was told to dig through a pile of winter coats at the center bar.
It wasn't there so I asked a bartender who'd been calling numbers, "Hey, did you call 236 by any chance?" He gave me an annoyed look.
"236? 236? I called that twice! Go find it in back." Well excuse me if I can't hear you over 100 other people, d-bag.
I found my way to the back and began sifting through another pile of coats. I found my coat - or at least, I found one of them. It was pretty cold that night so I layered a thinner jacket under my peacoat, and that was nowhere to be found. After a few more minutes' excavation I found the jacket, but with everything missing from the pockets: my black umbrella and a pair of Apple earphones. I was pissed.
"Hey, have you seen an umbrella?" I asked a rather nervous-looking manager. He immediately scurried around the bar looking for one and, after a few minutes, produced an umbrella that looked like mine. "This it?" he asked hopefully.
"Yeah, thanks," I said, not wanting to stick around to hunt for my earphones. It wasn't until after I left and it began drizzling that I realized the umbrella wasn't mine.
I paid nine bucks for this chaos? I don't think it's worth the trouble.