When it comes to clubbing, a lot of the time we’re conditioned to believe that bigger is always better. Superclubs, with their over the top production, LED screen, podium dancers and supermassive dance floors are often considered the best clubs in the world but every so often we just want to get down and dirty in a dingy, downstairs den of inequity. So, if you’re in the mood to take it back to basics here’s our list of the best small clubs in the world.
Smart Bar Chicago
Chicago’s Smart Bar is definitely one of the world’s most iconic clubs. Opening in 1982 Smart Bar has seen pretty much the entire evolution of house music and was home to the Godfather of House Frankie Knuckles in its early days. With a capacity of just four hundred, it’s pretty minuscule in size when compared to other clubs with equal pedigree.
Frankie Knuckles & Derrick Carter @ Smart Bar. The Featured Image at the top of this post is also from Smart Bar.
Mint Club Leeds
Leeds is England’s secret gem when it comes to clubbing, while most people would put London and Manchester as the out and out capitals for the UK clubbing, Leeds really isn’t all that far behind. At the centre of all of this is Mint Club. Having opened its door for the first time in 1998 and spent much of the last two decades giving six hundred people at a time somewhere to blow away the cobwebs of the work week, Mint Club has firmly established itself as one of the world’s best small clubs.
Robert Johnson Frankfurt
On the banks of Frankfurt’s Main river, Robert Johnson’s picturesque surroundings are not exactly what you would associate with underground clubbing. Although once you step foot inside things have a much more familiar feel, it’s a real no-nonsense sort of place with nothing but a bar, DJ box and dance floor downstairs and a balcony with river views upstairs. A little fish in a big pond, Robert Johnson’s two hundred and fifty capacity means it’s definitely punching above its weight when going up against some of Germany’s clubbing institutions and it really seems to be doing a pretty good job of it.
Sub-Club is arguably Glasgow’s, and Scotland’s, most famous nightclub. Open for almost three decades, Sub-Club has been home to some of Scotland’s biggest dance parties, most notably Harri & Domenic’s Subculture party which has been running since 1994. Anyone who has ever been lucky enough to be one of the four hundred odd clubbers they let in at a time will know exactly what all they hype surrounding Sub-Club is about, we had absolutely no hesitation in making it our number one in our list of the world’s smallest clubs.