The Clermont Lounge near the center of downtown Atlanta is listed online as a strip club, but The Dive Bar Tourist considers it to be more of a dive, with karaoke, and, oh yeah, dancers, who dance on a stage behind the bar. It’s located in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood in the basement of a closed down hotel, the Clermont Motor Lodge, and it has been in operation since 1965.
The Dive Bar Tourist first tried to make it to the Clermont after seeing a Mumford and Son’s concert at Olympic Park some years back, but he partook in too much beer and returned to his room. Unfortunate, because the band ended up there after their show, and were kicked out after one of the members got into a fight with a bouncer while singing karaoke. BUMMER! Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. (Story Here)
He made it on his second attempt, many years later after leaving a pitiful, phoned in performance by an aging blues musician a few months later. The place was appropriately, dimly lit, and Tuesday night karaoke was in such full swing, that The Dive Bar Tourist found himself on stage singing with a group, and then was startled to see a half-naked, middle aged woman dancing on an elevated stage behind the duct taped bar, when he went to get a drink.
The dancers at The Clermont come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and number of limbs, but, unfortunately, on this visit, Blondie, the longest tenured dancer in the place, famous for crushing beer cans between her breasts, wasn’t there.
Countless celebrities have graced the place, and it’s been featured on shows such as The Insomniac and Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, but the patrons are a pretty good mix of 70% locals, and 30% curious tourists, at the most.
Like many dives, smoking is permitted, so, if you’re traveling and don’t have access to a washing machine, you might want to wear disposable clothes, or make sure you have a few ziplock bags packed to seal them in when you get back to where you’re staying.
Drinks are reasonable ($2.75 PBR’s) and photography is prohibited. (Though a google images search will turn up plenty of celebrity photos taken inside)
The Dive Bar Tourist can’t wait to go back!
The Clermont Lounge
Be sure to try: Karaoke on Tuesday nights!