1 There are martinis on the rocks, and then there is the Blue Martini, a bar that rocks. This unique venue in the corner of Bally's casino floor is one of the most interesting places in the city because of where its performance area is located - behind and above the bar. The stage is raised about five feet above where the bartenders serve drinks, so the crowd can watch and cheer for the live bands who play Fridays and Saturdays without having to turn around to catch the action. Just be prepared to put some oomph into that drink order so the bartender can hear you over the speakers directly behind them.
2 Blue Martini's other claim to fame is, of course, its huge selection of martinis. With over 100 varieties that go far beyond the standard mixture of gin and vermouth with an olive garnish, it goes without saying that this is a place where you can and should try something new. The signature drink is a mix of blue Curacao liquor, Stoli Razberi vodka and a splash of Sierra Mist. Each martini costs about $12, but that's partly because they're in oversized 10-ounce glasses.
3 Chill out. There's a 66-foot-long ice rail that runs the length of the bar, so if you're more of a sipper than a chugger you can keep your beverage cool by sitting it on top of the frozen surface. If you want to be technical, yes, cocktail glasses were designed so that anything touching the base or stem has minimal effect on the temperature of the mixture in the bowl. But you're not going to let science get in the way of enjoying a cool gimmick, now are you? Which brings me to my next point ...
4 Lighten up. Since opening in 2002, the venue has added new lighting equipment, new LED menus and furniture that's lit from within, creating a glowing ambience. When the band or DJ gets the crowd going and the dance floor is in full swing, the ceiling lights spin and flash to add to the energy.
5 While the live entertainment is only usually scheduled on Friday and Saturday nights, the Blue Martini is a place that's still cool during its off-hours because of the atmosphere, close proximity to the gaming floor and the three 60-inch plasma TVs it has behind the bar. It's currently open during the days on weekends, but its hours fluctuate seasonally, so be sure to check up on the bar at BallysAC.com.
Heard on a Friday night: The five-member cover band 2twenty2 played a non-stop mix of party pop hits like "Raise Your Glass" by Pink, "Good Girls Go Bad" by Cobra Starship featuring Leighton Meister and "Party in the U.S.A." by Miley Cyrus.
Scene at midnight: The bar and dance floor were completely packed with people dancing, singing along or at least nodding their heads along to anything the band played. The bartenders rushed back and forth to prepare drink orders, with the band rocking out just behind them. Along the booths and lit benches on the sides of the bar, people took a break from dancing or sipped their drinks while enjoying the scene.
Club Owner: Bally's Atlantic City
The look: If entering from the parking garage, the bar is in the farthest corner of the main casino floor. The inside is shaped like an oval, with the dance floor in the middle, tables and bottle service couches rounding the walls and the bar and stage directly ahead against the back wall. The back wall of the bar area is the front of the permanent stage area, which is raised about five feet higher. The decor is eccentric, with furniture lit from within by blue and pink LEDs and walls blanketed in images of pouty red lips.
Friday, Feb. 17: Gypsy Wisdom, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., and DJ Bryan B, 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Saturday, Feb. 18: Eleven:Eleven, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., and DJ Redline, 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.