It all comes down to this: Do we want vodka and Old Bank District gossip, tequila and corporate Downtown gossip, or do we want to get goofy (and certainly look goofy) and dance at adult art raves? The first option flies at Pete’s Bar and Cafe, where Thursday and Friday nights always have something interesting brewing at the bar. A nod to developer Tom Gilmore, a hello to Pete, and a silent prayer to the bartender god that the lady barkeeps get up on the counter tonight. Pete’s Cafe and Bar is at 400 S. Main St., (213)617-1000.
The post-work vibe at Ciudad is perfect mix of cultures: The corporate crowd is just starting to loosen its ties, the bartenders have spikes and tattoos, and the restaurant’s inherent Latin vibe, even on nights when there’s no Latin jazz, somehow bolsters the place’s sex appeal. Everybody’s also very good looking. Ciudad is at 445 S. Figueroa St.,, #100, (213) 486.5171.
Then there’s artist Michelle Berc’s “Optical Lounges,” which started in late 2001 and have been building momentum ever since. Under her Create:Fixate banner, Berc curates art shows, and then somehow attracts a cross section of Angelenos that would make any promoter drool. At first, the DJs play mellow, ambient music and the guests look at the art, but as the night progresses, so do the beats, and when the lights finally go down, the gallery scene turns into a dance party.