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Spy Club Cincinnati


Caution: You may not be cool enough for The Spy Club.

Housed inside an unassuming brick building on Fifth Street downtown is a sophisticated dance club where the crowd strives to be as hip as the surroundings. Heavy old-fashioned chandeliers, gilded mirrors and antique furniture lend an eerie mansion feel to Spy Club’s ultra-classy look.

Vintage sofas and deep-seated chairs are tucked into intimate clusters, some by a flickering fireplace, others in darker corners lit by candlelight.

The trendy well-dressed lounge along the bar, swooped-back divans and dance floor flash with strobe lights to progressive house and trance music. The disc jockeys spin in a balcony above the dancers who look lost in the techno rhythm.

The atmosphere is very adult (it’s 21 and up), and the club seems to be working hard to bring in the beautiful people. “Proper” dress is required, which means faded jeans, T-shirts and shorts are just out of the question.

Black is the clothing color of choice.

The club draws from the professional crowd downtown and, as word spreads, is attracting those looking for an upscale urban experience. Expect a chic clientele and a grown-up mood. Your feet will not stick to the floor in the restroom, and you will not see halter-topped 19-year-olds grinding to some hip hop remix. And for most of us, this is a good thing.

Of course being this hip is expensive. The bar stocks the good stuff, but drinks are pricey. One regular Spy Club patron heard my complaints about a gin and tonic that tasted like tonic, and concurred–stick to beer.

The club is open Tuesday through Sunday, and as their Web site notes, schedules different DJs and music throughout the week. Tuesday is Ultra Lounge night with deep house music; Wednesday is “a night of futuristic jazz and illbient beats” with DJ Boom Bip; Thursdays hear “deep classics” of the 80s; Friday are DJ Geoff Gulley’s night for progressive house, and Saturday is tribal/tech house and progressive trance.