We began just past midnight at Barceloneta's beach-front Red Lounge Bar. As you might suspect, its red sleek decor has you feeling sexy as soon as you get past the velvet ropes. Refreshingly, the door was a non-issue, both hassle and cost free.
International DJs flock to this restaurant/louge for its intimate scene and crystal clear sound system. Our mid-week gig was hosted by a cool French DJ who spun a mix of bossanova, salsa, funk and even managed to make the Austin Powers theme song sound chic'. Mojitos were exquisitely prepared but were 10 a pop. Ouch.
Apparently neighbors on the strip get cranky at about 3 am so the festa temporarily fizzled but only long enough for DJ and crew to relocate to after party headquarters the Harlem Jazz Club, in the Gothic quarter.
We joined a party-in-progress at the smoky Latin jazz funkster hangout and live music venue that has that "cool without trying to be" vibe. Get close with the locals, dance freely and hit the bar hard for some local cervezas. We did.