Though Joker’s has taken over the space formerly occupied by Liar’s Club, one would be hard-pressed to notice many leftovers from the former occupant.
The bathrooms remain intact, but the rest of the bar has been completely redone during a $250,000 remodel, according to the management team’s website.
Liar’s Club’s centralized bar has been replaced with a sunken dance floor and pseudo stage where comedy acts will perform on Friday nights.
We arrived at Joker’s at 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Despite being the new bar on the block, it was at least two-thirds full by 10 p.m., based on our highly unofficial estimate.
The mohawked DJ wearing a tuxedo T-shirt did his best to get the crowd moving. He played electronic versions of popular songs and busted out a few of his own moves, but nobody used the dance floor for anything other than a walkway to the restroom until after 10 p.m.
Two sculptural jokers’ heads have been affixed to poles and stare down at the dance floor menacingly. Their eyes have been replaced with red laser lights, and their mouths infrequently spit bursts of cold air onto unsuspecting dancers who dare stand in their paths. This provided multiple opportunities for laughs, as it startled more than one group during our stay.
The former Liar’s Club stage has been replaced with a bar, and a second matching bar sits in the opposite corner of the expansive space.
The floor is covered in mismatched carpet tiles, as if they bought up boxes of leftovers and placed them in haphazard patterns.
A section of bar stools outlines most of the dance floor, and another area near a DJ booth has leather sofa “pods” that can be reserved for VIP service, including bottle service. We saw several tables opt for this; bottles arrived with an attached firework throwing sparks for dramatic effect.
But we were too impressed with the speedy and thoughtful service of the bartenders, who offered up their own VIP treatment. A friend ordered drinks a half hour apart, and not only did the bartender remember the drinks from the previous order, but he also remembered the name on the tab when it came time to close out.
In addition, the bar is well-stocked and had enough bartenders that nobody had to wait for service, which is an accomplishment not met by bars with much longer tenures.
We left Joker’s about 10:30 p.m. and people were finally starting to spill onto the dance floor, much to the DJ’s delight.
For anyone looking for dancing or comedy over comfortable conversation, Joker’s will be a welcomed addition to the Court Avenue District.
Find it: 216 Court Ave.
Hours: 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesday through Friday; 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday
Info: www.barmuda.com/jokersdsm; 237-5427