Bringing Down the (Club) House
By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 30, 2007 4:12PM
Somebody alert the IOC – Chicago’s got another feather in its civic entertainment cap, but did anyone here even notice? Last week at the Winter Music Conference in Miami, the South by Sundance Break of the club and electronic music world, our very own SmartBar collected the 2007 Club World Awards honor for “Best Club.” Guess that winter makeover really paid off, as Club Awards representative Kerri Mason put it: “When SmartBar revealed its new look and sound in February, there was nary a complaining hipster.” Debates on whether a non-complaining hipster is a hipster at all aside, SmartBar was also nominated for “Best Interior Design” in Miami. It was certainly a coming out party for the quarter-century-old stalwart of the north side club scene (such as it is).
Also noted by the Club Awards was the Sound Investment sound system that came with the new look this winter, and Chicagoist has to agree – we’ve almost lost our Chuck Taylors to its thundering Funktion-One bass setup. Lucky for us, we can still wear those beat up sneaks even at the “Best Club” in America – SmartBar has upped the ante for Chicago’s club community while maintaining its casual party ethos.
So what do such industry-specific honors like this one mean for a small club like SmartBar? Probably not a whole lot, because the coasts inescapably dominate the national club scene and the same Chicago musical diversity that keeps our iCals loaded also spreads our collective attention span pretty thin. Much huzzah was made of the Empty Bottle being included in Playboy’s list of the top ten rock venues in America, yet SmartBar’s triumph has gone largely unsung. What gives? Chicagoist salutes ‘em nonetheless – forget taxpayer commitments, new stadiums, and civic re-envisioning, we’ve got the “Best Club” in the world right here! You know, it’s in the basement of the Metro.