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Sugar Lounge

Sugar Lounge is about as big as your bedroom, but it has all the charm of an Ikea commercial. Silky curtains and velvety couches show off the violet light installations. It's a sexy effect that goes down better with a vodka tonic than an icy pint. This isn't a beer guy's kind of place. It has the basics in a bottle — Bud, Heineken, and Corona — although its booze assortment is more for the cocktail crowd. Besides, it's too pretty to attract dive-seeking types. Instead, on any given weekday, you'll find neatly ironed chino and Van Heusen-clad clients searching for refuge from daily sales calls, professional development meetings, and those damned TPS reports. It's refuge that brings them here... across the hall and down the elevator, as Sugar Lounge shares a building with a marketing company, a law office, and several other respectable businesses. If you catch it on the right night, it's also a place to be seen by 20-something hipster chicks getting all Katy Perry-like on the dance floor. Bliss Wednesdays open the floor and the mic; comedians, bands, singers, and poets are welcome. Sugar High Fridays conjure up an island vibe with the latest reggae and soca hits. And on Saturdays, Sugar Mix is all about the music. Bring your dancing shoes. On Thursdays, Crush (the resurrected indie dance party) calls the cools kids out to play. Admittedly, I planned my visit around the yearly hot pants party, which guaranteed I'd get an eyeful. But normally, Sugar Lounge is more of a sweet combination of skinny jeans, low-rise micro skirts, and lots of skin. Imagine a N.E.R.D. video minus the celebrity cameos. You probably won't hear any of Pharrell's yelps, but you'll definitely take in some of the best spin-work north of County Line Road: It's '90s booty, '80s hair metal, and the latest indie dance tunes — a varied, consistently high-energy mix that makes Sugar Lounge a musical oasis in an arid region of strip malls and strip clubs.

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Bryan Falla

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