BEST STRIP CLUB (MALE DANCERS) - 2000
This year, we resolved that the male of the species needn't have all the fun in the strip-club category, and so in this space any discussion of the dude-directed acts at Gay 90's or Club Metro's Friday-night show has been strictly excluded. (And, yes, we know about the secret room at the 90's, and we don't care. Stag videos and table dances be damned!) In this category, it's ladies night! Unfortunately, equal-opportunity access to strippers has been somewhat diminished since last year's demise of St. Paul's Rockin' East Side (the ladies' auxiliary of the Payne Reliever). Het beefcake-ogling options are at an all-time low, ladies, and beggars can't be choosers. The occasional traveling Chippendale show aside, Sharx reigns supreme in this category pretty much by default, with shows every Friday and Saturday night from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Still, there are a few things to recommend this place: The fact that you can spank the scantily clad waiters is a definite plus. As far as strip shows go, you probably know the drill. Music plays, togs come off, you wave your dollar bill until someone sticks his crotch close enough for you to shove it in his G-string. So let's talk atmosphere. The remarkable thing about Sharx is just how many potential Best-of categories it fulfills at once. For instance, this two-sided bar-cum-dance club is also the best place to go if you miss college frat parties (particularly the big supermuscled leering drunk guys). It's the best place to show off a new perm (judging by the numbers of people doing so). It's the best place to pretend the Eighties never died. (Oh--and it's also apparently the best place to give birth in the bathroom, judging by the copious amounts of blood in the women's WC--which went unmopped one recent Saturday night.) But the very best thing about the strip shows at Sharx are their brevity. See, estrogen frenzy has a short shelf life, and two hours is just long enough to get your money's worth and short enough to stave off the inevitable creeping thoughts: "Wait a minute--I'm behaving like an idiot."