We should be dancin’

Get your groove on at these swingin' spots

Patrons dance at The Cadillac Ranch on a Thursday night. The Ranch is one Lawrence's most popular dance destinations for college students, 2515 W. Sixth St.

Lawrence is full of hot spots to hit the dance floor on the weekend, especially when that weekend starts on Wednesday.

This little city is filled with the best local bands in Kansas, and if the bars lack a DJ, there’s likely a jukebox or speaker that emits a sound you can move to.

If your dancing shoes have been gathering dust in the closet, this list will provide you with the ammunition – if not the motivation – to get off the couch and shake your groove thing.

Cadillac Ranch

2515 W. Sixth St.

This spot boasts the name of that country song that can get stuck in your head for days, but it isn’t your normal hoedown. The Ranch, as it’s known among the kids, plays all kinds of music on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. For country fans, Saturday’s the night to bring your boots. The dance floor is at its hoppin’ height around 11:30 p.m. Thursday.

The Jazzhaus

926 1/2 Mass.

Three words: live bands – always. Seriously, no DJs, except for like once. The Jazzhaus plays host to bands that specialize in everything from rock ‘n’ roll to reggae. On Thursday, there’s usually a local rock band, and on Friday and Saturday there’s usually a band you can dance to (not that you couldn’t dance to a rock band). Music starts at 10 each night.


806 W. 24th St.

Variety is the spice at this club, which makes it hard to get bored. Tuesday is Karaoke Night. Wednesday is Alternative Lifestyles Night. Thursday is Ladies Night. And Friday and Saturday, you can hear Top 40 hits from a DJ. Want dozens of your closest friends to hit the club with you? Liquid has a party bus.

The Sandbar

117 E. Eighth St.

No dance floor here. But who needs one when you’ve got a bar? Jimmy Buffett is a fixture on the juke box, but there’s plenty more music to choose from at this makeshift Margaritaville. One of the smallest joints in town, The Sandbar has a capacity of 49. So you’ll feel close to other patrons here because when you dance, you dance with everyone.

The Granada

1020 Mass.

This theater has seen the likes of Ben Folds, Matchbox 20 and Eve 6. There are usually live bands, and there’s one big room for dancing.


1016 Mass.

Fatso’s and the Granada should go hand in hand for a night of good music and dancing – they’re next-door neighbors. Music kicks off at 9 p.m. here, and if you’re in the mood for some alcohol to go along with your dancing, Mondays are $1 “almost” everything.

Last Call

729 N.H.

It’s been scrutinized for its security in the past, but it’s a popular place to spend a Saturday night, drawing lots of club-hoppers from out of town. Rap music is a favorite here, and the dance floor boasts multiple levels. Friday is usually reserved for private parties, but this place doesn’t shut down until 3 a.m. on Saturdays, and anyone over 18 is welcome.

Club Axis

821 Iowa

Club Axis has a large dance floor, but you can also book private parties in individual rooms. Three DJs play a mix of ’70s, ’80s and Top 40 music, which usually starts about 9 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sunday is teen night.

The Bottleneck

737 N.H.

The doors open at 9 p.m. at one of the hottest Thursday-night dance spots in town. This place is big enough to hold seven times as many people as the wee Sandbar. Like the Granada, The Bottleneck has been a tour stop for some outstanding national acts, but it’s also known for other events. DJ Neon mixes all kinds of music – including alternative rock and hip-hop from the past few decades – on Thursday nights. Smackdown! Trivia night is usually on Sunday, and Open Mic night is usually on Monday.