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It's 3 a.m. What Now?

One guy's journey to keep the party going after the bars shut down

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If city officials had secretly hoped that Underground's late hours would be a draw, they were sorely mistaken. On my second visit, Kenny's Alley was a ghost town. There were more security personnel wandering the alley than there were partiers. I walked into Latin Sol. Nobody. I went outside and asked a security officer where I could find the most action. She suggested I try Charlie Brown's, the drag queen club.

The guy working the door at Charlie Brown's checked my ID, but he didn't charge me to enter. A girl in a tight, black, sleeveless top and jeans was sitting at the bar. She introduced herself as Lindy and explained she was in town on business. Lindy then introduced me to the bartender, who had bleached blond hair and, like Lindy, was wearing a sleeveless black shirt.

"This is Joey," she said. "He's fantastic."

Joey offered to pour me a shot. I accepted.

A man with dark brown hair and eyeliner came and sat down next to Lindy. His name was Steven. Lindy introduced me, explaining that I was "straight, but still fabulous."

"I didn't know the two were exclusive," I said.

We downed the shot that Joey poured. It tasted like grape juice. I asked what it was called. "Redheaded Slut," he said.

"Who doesn't love a slut?" Lindy cooed, leaning in my direction.

"Indeed."

Joey poured me another shot.

3 a.m., Sat., Oct. 1

Some friends told me that the speakeasy I couldn't find the week before might only operate every other week. So I returned to the same spot off Howell Mill Road. I sat in my car for a half-hour. Nobody came in or out. A blue BMW drove by several times. I suspect the Beamer's occupants were looking for the same party.

I gave up on finding a speakeasy, forever.

3:30 A.M., Sat., Oct. 1

I may have failed with the speakeasies, but I did find a club on the outskirts of Buckhead that's an alleged after-hours hangout for Pink Pony strippers. I won't give the name of the club, which is located in unincorporated DeKalb County, because it serves drinks a little later than DeKalb laws allow, and I don't want to get anybody shut down.

If you can find the club before 2:30 a.m., you'll be able to get in without too much trouble. Get there after 3:30, though, and you'll have to wait in line or pay the bouncer an extra $20 to take you to the front.

KENNY'S ALLEY OF DESOLATION: Underground is far from overcrowded. - JIM STAWNIAK
  • JIM STAWNIAK
  • KENNY'S ALLEY OF DESOLATION: Underground is far from overcrowded.

Traffic was slowed in front of the club as cabs stopped to drop off and pick up passengers. I parked across the street and, as I stepped out of my car, heard honking followed by screeching tires. I looked up as a car careened off the road and into some power lines, taking out a street sign in the process.

The interior of the club is Davy Crockett meets Studio 54. The lobby is graced with a chandelier made of antlers, and several stuffed animals -- a squirrel, a duck, and a fish -- were hung behind the bar. In an adjacent room, a girl in a pink tube top and jeans spent several minutes gyrating against a pillar under a disco ball. A sign pointed to a neighboring VIP lounge, which was sectioned off by a black velvet rope and matching velvet curtain. A security guard told me I could score access to the VIP section by buying a bottle of $250 champagne.

Downstairs, I chatted up the bartender, who told me that the club has been open for roughly a year. I asked her how I could spot the Pink Pony girls and she shrugged and said, "They're a little hotter, I guess."

Back upstairs, the DJ played the club version of the Eurythmics song "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)." A girl in light blue jeans and a brown and blue mesh shirt made out with a large man in a button-down. It was the third guy I'd seen her with in 10 minutes.

I asked the guy next to me what time it was. He said it was 4:35. I went downstairs to ask for a drink. The bartender said they'd stopped serving. I asked what time the club stopped serving, and he said 4:30.

In unincorporated DeKalb County, the bars are supposed to stop pouring by 3:55 a.m. According to a representative at the DeKalb Business and Alcohol Bureau, there are no exceptions to this law, and violators can lose their liquor license.

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