You survived another year of partying and all you have to show for it are a couple good pouty-lipped Facebook photos.
Sure, the promise of new beginnings that comes Jan. 1 makes you want to erase this year’s memories with an urgency that’s usually reserved for single-stall bathroom lines.
Still, 2008 had its share of nightlife milestones, like the arrival of H2O, the super-sized hot spot on Veterans Parkway.
A few venues closed, including Aqua Nightclub, a brief incarnation of the Midtown Drive bar that for long was Memory Lane.
With 2009, there’s a likelihood our party scene will see even more changes. Already, hot spot Flip Flops is slated to soon open on Broadway.
New drink specials and promotions are exciting, but nightlife hardly needs a complete overhaul.
Here are some of this year’s trends worth renewing:
Breathing. Three cheers to a gradual departure from eau de ashtray. The Loft followed Phenix City nightclub Broad Street Blues in going smokefree, and lungs across Broadway are grateful.
A couple other venues included smoke-free areas this year. It would be nice if 2009 saw some more hot spots that don’t need to be followed by a lifetime supply of Herbal Essences.
Bar food. Clubs like The Oasis added food offerings, making for some necessary nourishment between pickup lines.
With luck, the strategy will continue to fuel our local meet market. Few things are hotter than a woman who likes fried cheese.
Stripper poles. No longer confined to downstairs basements and shady establishments, the stripper pole became a must-have nightlife accessory.
It came to hot spots like The Roadhouse and H2O, where partiers can now live out “Showgirls”-inspired aspirations without having to collect college tuition with their moves.
I predict an even greater onset of ceiling holes in 2009, preferably paired with another venue willing to host the Chippendales dancers.
New tunes. Songs with references to “tapping that” still got played, but many venues used this year as a chance to expand their musical horizons.
The Shanty Shack added more live music to its lineup.
A growing assortment of DJs competed for partiers’ attention. And the popularity of Journey and Kiss tribute bands proved that we’re ready for a little variety.
Change is exciting, and with luck local bar owners will have the wisdom to use 2008 to build on successes and re-evaluate failures.
And as hot spots prepare for another year of entertainment, don’t be afraid to reminisce about your nights out on the town with a guilty obligation to tell your friends that 2009 will be different.
That, after all, is the beauty of having a clean slate.
Or at least believing in one.