Mantra Lounge
Essentials | Full Review | Reader Comments | Post A Comment

Essentials

Address: 1905 E North Avenue
Phone: 274.0007
Official Website: Visit
Photo Gallery: View
Map & Directions: View

 

Review

The Scene:
Funky and eclectic, Mantra is a spiritual hothouse of pulsing beats. The music is varied, the space inviting and well partitioned, and the crowd a mix of everyone from hippies, to businessmen, to chic east siders.

The Drinks:
Mantra has the big three rules covered. 1. Good 2. Plenty 3. Reasonable. The selection seems to be practically endless, so it's sure that you'll find something to enjoy (except if you drink OP, because they don't have it. Yet). Even better, the barstaff seems almost eerily blessed with the ability to come up with drinks we've never heard of, but always love. So, if you're feeling a little adventurous, tell the bartender you usually have drink X, but want to try something a little different. There's a good chance they'll whip something together that'll have you coming back for seconds. Aside from the main bar in the largest area of the club, there's another in the Martini Bar.

The Music:
Whatever it is, it pumps. Mantra has a great track record of scoring some pretty established djs from around the country. Expect lots of Deep House, Progressive, underground Hip Hop, and a dash of Trance on a good night, with light sprinklings of some things that we just can't classify. Some of the selections tend to be a bit vintage, but we think it's vintage in a good way, not vintage in a cheesy way. The house DJ, DJ D-On, is always on top of the game. Mix this with a non-stop list of events and featured guests, plus a great sound system, for some high energy, sweaty dance floor nights. It's an impressively effective blend, and always gets us up off of the stool and out onto the floor.

The people:
Diversity, Diversity, Diversity. Without a doubt, the crowd at Mantra, regardless of night, is one of the most varied we've ever experienced. It's tough to get a "feel" for the "typical" Mantra patron, because, well...there is no "typical" Mantra patron. The Mantra crowd is a great "get to know you" experience, with typically outgoing, sometimes brash, personalities. If you like dancing with total strangers for no other reason than they're hot and the music is thumping, you'll like it here. For some reason that we can't understand, there will occasionally be a night where it seems like a)everyone came with at least 10 people they know, and b)it just so happens that everyone knows everyone else. That can make it tough to just make the rounds and meet people, but it isn't a typical night.

The atmosphere:
Buddah meets Hendrix and Tiesto in India. How's that for a description? The space is great. Older natives tell us that in prior incarnations the large areas that comprise Mantra were poorly managed and made the place feel vacant and void of personality. Not anymore! Whoever did the remodel did a great job of sectioning off distinct areas of the club into mini-lounges of distinctively unique feel and ambiance. Overall, the feeling is one of...relaxed tension. While the beats are pounding through the better than average sound system, there's an overall vibe of almost serenity that helps to color the whole experience. Unique, and definately worth checking out. The flow from one area of the club to another is well conceived and effective. If you should happen to meet someone, or a few someones, who tickle your fancy, it's relatively painless to transition from the crowded dancing areas of the club to more intimate settings complete with uber comfortable couches/chairs. Oh, and the bar is right on your way. How convenient.

What to wear:
If ever there was question without an answer, this is it. We have no idea. The only tip we can give is, Everyone looks cool. But, it's so varied that preppie college guys and punk girls could definately hang out next to each other and feel equally at home. But still, be forewarned that looking rumpled is ill advised, and looking gruby or shady just won't fly. With the patrons, or the staff.

When to go:
On Thursdays, Mantra hosts what's rumored by some to be the best ladies night in the city. Certainly, the ladies night drink features are worth noting. If big city sounds are your thing, Saturdays are typically the guest DJ nights, though you need to stop by on a Friday to hear D-on rip out a few charged sets. They're open from 9 till 2, Wednesday-Sunday. We've never gotten there before 10:30 or 11, and the joint is usually pretty hopping by then.

 

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