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Jake's on 4th

Getting Hugo with shoes on

Jake's on 4th in Olympia regularly packs its dance floor. Photo courtesy of Jake's Facebook

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Being a native Olympian, I'm no stranger to Jake's on 4th. Jake's is like that buddy I call up after I fail a test or have been stood up by a date. He's there when I need him, feeding me shots and blasting music so loud I forget my problems. The next day I'm always stupendously hungover, but happier having spent my night dancing my troubles away.

Tonight, I arrive sober. In the club‘s entryway, tacked next to rainbow flags and a notice warning patrons against homophobic remarks, is a sign that reads "No Bare Feet." At most clubs the sentiment might seem obvious, but not necessarily here. Two guys in Sesame Street costumes shoot pool on the club's lone table. A group of individuals wearing overalls (including a chesty girl sans bra) stroll toward the outdoor smoking section. If clubbers have tried to enter Jake's without shoes on, I wouldn't be surprised - though the club isn't exclusive to the eccentrically-dressed. Plenty of T-shirt and jeans types mingle, wooing their dates with fancy dance moves.  

Standing in line for a drink, the person behind me points to the dance floor and exclaims, "I'm going to get HUGO out there!"

I laugh. Whatever getting Hugo means, I'm sure it can be accomplished on Jake's dance floor. The floor is the club's centerpiece. Lights of all colors flash to the beat of DJ Alex's (Thursday and Friday nights) club bangers. Every kind of dancer is out there. The drunken thrasher. The emo headbanger. The bump-and-grind couple. Even a few people dancing the slow, stoned robot. Everyone moving in a sweaty, stinky harmony.

Jake's does have its faults. I recognize for the first time (being sober) the drinks are weak, there is no place for quiet conversation and the line outside the club can grow long. But such are the faults of any popular dance spot. The strong singles scene and potential dance-floor makeouts override any negatives 10 times over.

I don't stay too long. Jake's has seen me before. And it'll see me again, dancing my own particular brand of drunken, exuberant, getting-Hugo kind of step.

Jake's on 4th

311 E. 4th Ave., Olympia
Thursday, Oct. 14, 8 p.m., gay strip contest with cash prizes. 

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