Me: “It looks like a nuclear fallout occurred around here.”
JB: “Well that helps explain the strangely dressed people, just not the dancing.”


JB and I were greeted by chained fence, piles of dirt, and collapsed homes. We had entered an atomic wasteland. Strangers said hello in their friendly tongue of YO! It’s the type of friendly greeting when they want your wallet and not your life. Well, that’s a relief. The horizon is painted in an eerie neon blue glow while a comforting and familiar “thump-thump-thump” of bass rattled the air. A titan greeted us at a tall sharp metallic fence securing the perimeter. “Welcome to The Arts Garage,” he said with a grin.

We stepped inside and received a second set of a clearance after exchanging money for a hand stamp of approval. Subsequently it was a brown permanent marker squiggle that refused to come off for three days. We quickly huddled into the building. Two floors. Up or down? Stairs are a task best suited for later. The first floor had a Miami club music vibe, things were looking promising. I convinced myself that the women would match the music. My hope rapidly faded.

I noticed a particular odor, a mix of shame and left over fast food. In front of me was a small bar where they were serving food. I considered getting a beer, but the smell had infected my tongue. It was the kind of smell that you can taste. Time to evacuate promptly and head upstairs.

Click, clomp, clap, click, clomp, clap. Sigh. Okay one more stair…..WOMP WOMP WUB WUB BWAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. The dubstep came at me like a cheap whore. It was filthy and I could handle it. The room was lit only with black lights, the bass rattled your brain, and leggy women in super short skirts and knee high stockings were everywhere. A perfect place to set up camp.

After better examining my surrounds I realized several people had escaped from a mental ward. One patient was practicing drunken tiger fist kung-fu. Another was kicking the air in protest to the beat. All too soon I understood I was wrong. Ninjas had invaded the dance floor and only with the right combination of medicine and alcohol would allow you to see them. I’m a lucky bastard. They were doing all the dangerous work by keeping everyone safe so we could enjoy a beer and hit on women.

It was time for an immediate beer. JB went to get a round of Pabst Blue Ribbon, always a staple for safe drinking in unfamiliar territory. Three dollars a beer which seems to be the standard for domestic drafts around here. A Spanish gentlemen was unaware that JB was next to him. “I f*cking hate white people, but that MILF over there she’s hot,” he shouted at the bartender. The bartender grinned and shrugged her shoulders JB banged his hand on the bar. “God dammit, I f*cking hate myself too!” The guy stared at him for 30 seconds before bursting out laughing. They formed a MILF hunt alliance. We all decided to go check out someone’s mother who was now taking off her shirt.

She and her paunchy friend were rolling around on top of each other on stage. The bouncer walked over to us, words weren’t used, only a stare. The kind you give when you see a traffic accident, a cross between anguish and curiosity. “I’ll allow it for a few more minutes, don’t want to seem like a bad host,” he said as he turned away. I was inclined to agree. With the on going ninja battle and the bouncer being forced to take on mundane tasks such as making elderly women hide their c-sections, it was only proper.

Another bouncer ran around frantically. What the hell is going on? Was there a shortage of beer? Were we all about to be thrown out? He frantically plugged in wires left and right. Then it happened. He handed a mic to a random guy. He proceeded to lay down rhymes to the dubstep. He nailed it. I was left speechless as I’m pretty sure he used up every word in the English dictionary.


*LIGHTS ON* Holy shit. It’s two am. Everyone get the hell out. I was happily surprised when most of the leggy women were still hot.


The bottom line:

Hours:  8 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Crowd:  Casual
Music: DJs | Live
Price range:  $$
Accepts Credit Cards:  Yes
ATM: Yes
Dance floor:  Yes
Outdoor area: Yes
Coat check: Yes

The drinks moderately priced for Philadelphia. On this particular night there was a cover. If you like dubstep progressive house or an artsy raver vibe then this definitely place is for you. I’m also told they have other types of music depending on the night, where MCs slam it to the floor. This one is certainly worth checking out.

1533 Ridge Avenue  Philadelphia, PA 19130-2211
(215) 765-2702