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Denver's five best small dance clubs

Patrons at the Hive on Friday night, which made our list of small clubs. Slide show: Libation Fridays at The Hive
Patrons at the Hive on Friday night, which made our list of small clubs. Slide show: Libation Fridays at The Hive
Jim Wills

See Also: - The ten best green rooms in Denver and Boulder - Photos: Whomp Truck on Santa Fe - Denver's ten biggest hipster bars

Denver offers a lot when it comes to dance clubs, but lately we've seen an influx in boutique-sized places popping up all over town. Club-goers looking to avoid the massive crowds found at bigger venues that are booking more mainstream acts are flocking to these five small clubs to dance and see Denver's finest DJs and electronic acts doing what they do best.

Milk Bar is located downstairs at Bar Standard. Musical offerings range from goth to hip-hop to '80s new wave, drawing an eclectic group of people who come together for the sole purpose of dancing to the older sounds. There's no room for dubstep in a room like this; it's for choice people who like choice music. The ambience echoes that of the Korova Milk Bar from the Anthony Burgess novel A Clockwork Orange, and while the black-and-white walls and steamy red bar light conjure a swanky lounge, the dance tunes pumping out of the DJ booth remind you that you came here to party, and that's just what you'll do.

Fingers of the Sun perform at Deer Pile.
Fingers of the Sun perform at Deer Pile.

4. Deer Pile, 206 East 13th Avenue

The folks who run the Deer Pile host live readings, album releases, DJ nights and intimate performances from Denver's indie musicians. Cozily nestled above City, O' City in a small room with windows facing bustling 13th Avenue, the Deer Pile barely hits attendance numbers in the upper eighties, but the inspiration that bleeds from its humble architecture is unmatched. Should you find yourself wandering 13th Avenue late, hungry for a delicious snack and libation, then power those legs to City, O' City's sister hangout.

 

Denver's five best small dance clubs

3. The Hive, 1109 Lincoln Street

After undergoing a cosmetic change from its previous incarnation as Sutra, the Hive has hit the ground running. A top spot for drum-and-bass music in Denver, the Hive offers an eclectic atmosphere in a prime location for clubbers. Despite being so new to the dance-club landscape, this vibrant venue has attracted all sorts of patrons, from the average partier looking for a real live setting to the die-hard electronic-music fan with discriminating taste.

2. NORAD, 821 22nd Street

Taking over the former 2200 location, NORAD is the prime location for mature dance music. What does that mean, exactly? It means it's for people who know and love electronic music and thankfully haven't become jaded by the mainstream takeover. The biggest names in the underground dance-music scene come here, and the parties run late into the night. The sound system is comparable to those at the biggest clubs in Denver, and the location is such that once you get to NORAD, you won't want to go anywhere else.

 

Denver's five best small dance clubs

1. Whomp Truck, a moving target

Whomp Truck isn't a brick-and-mortar dance club, but when its DJs throw down at locations dotting the metro area, the immediate vicinity turns into the best club in the city. With residents Ishe, Coult45, Fisk, Just Ben, Citrus, Alert and Noah Deep, the Whomp Truck has one of the heaviest crews around. The truck pulls up in underground spots around Denver, and it's the best place to hear good bass music. Finding fame with its performances at First Friday parking-lot events on Santa Fe (see the video below), the Whomp Truck quickly quickly built a reputation for producing the best in Denver's electronic-music scene.





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