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Barfly: Step into Liquid, a New Club in San Jose

In Clubs
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The new Liquid Restaurant and Lounge sits between an apartment building and a parking lot near San Jose State University, occupying an ordinary orange and yellow building. The exterior looks nothing like the typical nightclub: no flashy neon signs, crystal-clear bay windows and glitzy entryways. Liquid looks more like a Bohemian art gallery than a new nightclub and restaurant.

At 9pm on a recent visit, the club was still relatively empty, allowing for a good look at the interior—a stark contrast from nondescript facade outside. Liquid has an expansive and seamless interior. A black tile dance floor stretches unobstructed to the rear of the restaurant; flanking the floor is a seating area, one long row of dining booths and white upholstered couches. Glowing, cube-shaped plastic footrests float on the floor like ice in a drink. The bar glows with same ice-blue tint as the footrests.

The bottles at the bar are arranged in two columns and lined neatly on rows of blue, LED-lit shelves. Liquid-filled pillars rise up from the center of the display while blue-and-white-striped lantern covers hang over the bar counter. Uniting the whole “liquid” theme is the mesmerizing light show; the walls shimmering and rippling like the surface of the sea.

All smiles at Liquid Lounge.

An hour later, the party begins. Old-school dance music, hip-hop and R&B thunder over the sound system. A DJ works the decks. Twenty-something year old men and women stand around the bar, fueling up for a night of dancing. The real show is the group of women that control the floor. Tipsy and a bit rowdy, they grind against each another. Even so, the atmosphere remains relaxed and festive. A good-natured security guard even gives some women piggy-back rides. Liquid’s abundance of blue is soothing and works its magic on me, too. The apprehensions I usually have about dancing are gone.

As I dance, I realize what is so special about this club. I come up with a word, Liquidity: the qualities, character and connotations of liquid. By deviating from the standard model in decor, atmosphere and music, Liquid changes form, becoming a new kind of club.

More Photos.

Liquid Restaurant and Lounge
32 S. Third St., San Jose

Matt Crawford is the Director of Digital Media for Metro Newspapers. Follow him @Metro_Matt.

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