Clubbing with a Conscience

Across the nation, nightclubs and lounges are plugging into the green lifestyle trend.

Some of the latest businesses to plug into the green lifestyle trend, nightclubs and lounges are not just venues for sipping organic spirits and wine made with organically- or sustainably-farmed grapes. Many are committed to the eco mantra full-throttle and have everything from solar power and low-voltage lighting to bamboo walls and furnishings constructed from recycled or renewable woods.

One club preaching greener ethics is Mark Klemen's Butterfly Social Club, which opened in Chicago during early 2007, one door down from Klemen's 10-year-old venture, Funky Buddha Lounge. Rather than drinking beer and the same-old martinis and gin-and-tonics, patrons sip organic wine, Chinese herbal tonics  and concoction made with gogo berries. The interior consists of cob (mixture of sand, clay and straw) and references Mayan culture with various art pieces while an employee-generated bicycle powers the club's lighting and sound system.

Also in Chicago, in the West Loop, the 5,000-square foot Lumen, opened in the spring of 2007 with oodles of green goods including low-voltage lighting, tables constructed from bamboo, and a LED installation. Funky, custom-built modular furniture provides the backdrop acid jazz and deep house.

San Francisco, long considered a pioneer in eco-friendly lounges, has more than a few options. Slip into a seat at Yield Wine Bar in the city's Dogpatch neighborhood for a great selection of wines, all made exclusively from organically- and biodynamically-grown grapes. The list is printed on recycled paper and the staff rotates options monthly to reflect debuts and personal favorites.

Or, drop into XYZ , a restaurant/wine bar inside the W San Francisco that serves modern California cuisine, along with biodynamic wines sourced from around the world. On Wednesdays some of these wines are paired with complimentary canapés while a DJ spins tunes.

In the nation's capital city, you can order a flight of organic wines, from France, Italy and Callifornia inside the Hotel Palomar's Urbana Restaurant & Wine Bar for only $14-$17. And in one of the nation's biggest party capitals, New York City, there's the eco-friendly nightclub Greenhouse, which opened in SoHo in 2008. While it's unclear how earthy some of the regulars there are, the LEED-certified establishment certainly gets a green stamp of approval. It features a wind-powered sound system, sustainable bamboo walls, an extensive organic cocktail menu and employees clad in organic clothes designed by Ali Hewson (Bono's wife).




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