1 What's in a name? A club by any other name, well, isn't quite as sweet in the case of Live Bar, which has had several names before. Prior to its complete renovation at the end of 2011, it was The Red Room, The Disco and The Wave, the latter two while under management by Trump Entertainment. All of those iterations were decent, but Live Bar is a reimagined rock club that's getting more attention than all of them as a significant piece of Landry's $150 million renovation of the casino.
2 No need for subtlety here. Live Bar is exactly what it says it is - a bar where you can see live music. Open Thursday through Saturday, doors open at either 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. and bands come on around 10 p.m. The bands are all cover bands, playing a mix of everything from the '70s to today, including all the hits you'd expect. Hey, they know what the people want.
3 There is no age range for having a good time. The management at Golden Nugget wanted Live Bar to be an environment where anyone could feel comfortable, whether they are 65-year-old slot machine regulars or 25-year-old socialites. In that sense, a young crowd can equally have fun dancing to their favorite songs, and an older crowd can join the party without having to feel like they need to elbow through a crowd of wild 21-year-olds to get in.
4 Would you like to super-size that drink order? While some casino clubs serve tiny plastic cups of beer and mixed drinks, forcing you to keep coming back for more, Live Bar serves their draft brews in giant 20-ounce glasses and their mixed drinks in larger-than-usual lowball glasses. At $5.50 for a beer and $9 to $12 for cocktails, they're priced at about the same or cheaper than many of the nightlife venues in the city, leaving you with more arms and legs to shake on the dance floor.
5 Treat your feet. While there is plenty of space for going wild, there is also ample seating, with high-top tables, couches and barstools taking up about half the room. All of it is first-come, first-serve, with servers taking orders to save you a trip across the room to the bar. It's a feature worth noting, since the club experience usually consists of little seating that comes at a premium price. After a long week, there is no shame in sitting back, relaxing and enjoying some good tunes.
Club Owner: Golden Nugget Atlantic City
Debuted: December 2011 as redesigned Live Bar, previously Red Room, The Disco and The Wave.
The look: The roughly square single room is dimly lit, with rows of hightop tables and other seating on one side and the stage, dance floor and bar on the other. The stage, raised about a foot, is in the far corner, directly across from the square marble bar with the dance floor in between. The decor and ambiance is upscale and modern, with premium liquor bottles lining shelves on one wall lit by mood lights, and cocktail waitresses taking drink orders in tight gray dresses with ruffled bottoms.
Heard on a Friday night: Cover band Big Bang Baby played a mix of upbeat rock classics and modern hits, with a setlist that ranged from Journey to Sublime to Bon Jovi to Travie McCoy featuring Bruno Mars. In between sets, popular dance music played through the speakers, keeping the crowd alive and moving.
Scene at 1 a.m.: An upbeat crowd, with a median age of 35 but ranging in age from the early 20s to mid-60s, surrounded the bar and most of the tables. While most of the people there sat, tapped their feet and nodded their heads to the music, a few couples and friends got up, went straight to the dance floor and rocked out a few feet from the band. The singer got more people involved by holding out the mic to get the sound of everyone else singing the chorus while throwing their hands in the air.
Seven Stone returns to host Live Bar's Mardi Gras party 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18.