With its low self-esteem and high urban blight, Hartford is the ultimate underdog city. Sad City Hartford documents the joys, sorrows and eccentricities of New England's Rising Star.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What's The Story With 36 Lewis?



Everytime we mention Lewis St to the 40 and over crowd, the first thing that gets mentioned is 36 Lewis and its wild reputation.

 "That 36 Lewis was quite the place."

 "36 Lewis, you could get anything there!"

 "There's a lot of ghosts of good times over at 36 Lewis."

 "You could always tell a person was a good time if they hung out at 36 Lewis."

We are too young to remember when this was a happening spot, but it sure sounds like there are some good stories an we'd love to here them. Do you have any tales to tell of this great spot? We'd love to put together a collection of stories from the heyday. Feel free to leave them here in comments or send them in email.

23 comments:

  1. Don't have to be 40 or over necessarily, I'm just a touch over 30 and i remember 36 Lewis St as an afterhours spot, (Vibe) back before afterhours spots were basically outlawed in the city. Maybe it wasn't its heyday, but i spent many a early Sunday morning with the sun rising through the empty Hartford streets with ears ringing trying to remember where my damn car was parked after way too many hours spent there..

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  2. Yup. From the 1999-2001 era, 36 Lewis Street was one of the two after hours clubs in Hartford - the other being the old Club Blu and current Russian Lady. Of course, the Hartford Brewery was right around the corner on Pearl and also a pretty happening spot. The club opened at 10 PM and stayed open till 4 AM with NO alcohol served. E and glow sticks were ubiquitous, and everyone pretty much looked like this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bM3xf87CbIQ

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  3. There was a time when you could go out all night in Hartford (and not just here). And not just go out all night, but experience a scene that no longer exists. Bump into random people and talk for hours, get lost dancing in a mixture of fog, strobe lights and sirens blaring over the music, or even lay on a couch if you felt like it.

    It's amazing to think this place actually happened. No cameras, before youtube and social media, so its not like you can go back and show anyone what it was like. I'm sure as hell glad I was there for it. Getting amped right now thinking aback bout it...untz untz untz untz...

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  4. Vibe and Insomnia...remember them well. Favorite after hours spots from 99-01

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  5. Me too!! I lived at Vibe and wasn't an E fan. Loved to dance to DJ Sydog and DJ Rampage. I still have their CDs. I too remember leaving the club with the sun coming up, ears ringing and followinging a long line of cars to a house in Newington where the party continued. Those were the days~99 to 01. Great times...

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  6. I can't speak for the over 40 crowd, but the over 70 bunch remembers Lewis St. as the advertising center of Hartford in the early '60s...think "Mad Men". 36 Lewis was home to a very prestigious agency as I recall, whose art director could be seen cruising around the city his '55 Ford Thunderbird.

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  7. The other after hours club was System before it became Club Blu. Vibe and System were my homes away from home!!

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  8. And Vibe was called Insomnia before it was Vibe. does anyone remember this?? System closed down in 2001 and then Club Blu took its place. And this was a very sad time for me because there was no longer Vibe or System.

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  9. ayeeee...36 Lewis Street...now there's a name from the past...and what a past!! Yep remember it well, usually one of the names on our pub crawl list that included Scarlet's (O'hara), Russian Lady, BT's, The Comet (and The Club Car on Sunday's as all other places were shut if I remember clearly), the year? 1987-1988!
    No alcohol one reviewer writes?...well rest assured that in the late 80's we drank legaly, Jack & Coke being my poisson of choice, guess the law changed in the 90's?
    One fond memory was seeing REM play there one night...fantastic....

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    1. Good times! those were my years and places too.

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  10. insomnia system thursday to sunday, centerfolds and hard hittin NB...real friends were made till this day a trance addict if you didnt live it you will never know what we went through.

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  11. I used to work at club 36...it was crazy seeing everyone high on E, jumping around and feeling up on each other lol. I was only 18 and few months later it got shut down. Definitely was a fun place to be after the clubs because you can dance your drunkness away. A lot of people went there because they didn't want to drink and drive, not all was about drugs.

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  12. Absolutely unbelievable. Insomnia was amazing. At the end it got a bit "cracky" but I have mostly very pleasant memories of early mornings there. Wish it was open now.

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  13. VIBE!! NVR BE ANOTHA ONE LIKE IT!! if you went there than u have storeys most people wouldn't believe, that's why I don't bother telln them!! The day they closed down was the end of my club runs. Nothing could compare...' OH DONT ASK WHY! 'CAUSE THERE ARE CASTLES IN THE SKY!!!!

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  14. Asdfasdf is right. It was an amazing time. U could just find ur way to Hartford and be guaranteed an amazing night. Kids from all around would come. Everyone had fun. I rolled. Some didn't. Either way it was great. Miss it.

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  15. I wonder how many of us bumped into each other at those places... Who would have thought we would be commenting on a web page trying to reminisce this many years later...keeping our comments short because trying to relay those experiences in words is impossible.

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  16. Does anyone recall all the Dj's? I remember Si Dog, Dj Edit, Ma Bell, Ranpage, TP & Dj Bio and a few more that escape me at the moment. So many great memories! !!

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    1. Remember Dee-Jay Bee

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    2. 34. All the best house DJs. Think of this. Every coed, dancer and waitress after hours spending their hard earned money ;) . Best house music out of all the clubs. Was there 99-02 ish. First roll and the best experiences of my life. Kyle.

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  17. I'm 33 and spent a LOT of time at 36 Lewis first when it was Insomnia and then later when it was Vibe. I was 17 the first time I went and it was Insomnia. Once Insomnia shut down, we bounced over to System and then back to Lewis when it became Vibe. I remember the DJs (Si Dog, Edit, Rampage) and there were a lot of guest DJ's that were primarily on the first floor. I remember when IIO came to sing (I think it was when it was Insomnia) and that was pretty sweet. I reminisce when I program by zoning out to some tracks that were played a lot in those clubs. Hard to believe the feelings I get after all these years when I hear them...they do something extreme to my body and it brings me back in ways people who never experienced those places would ever understand. Times are definitely different now!!

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    1. I came from small town Texas, right outta high school, to Meridian for work(1999-2001). I'd never seen anything like this b4. Everyone was cool as hell and we always had a blast. These establiments helped make me who I am today. Miss those days! !


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  18. Lets get them back. Is that at all possible?

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  19. When and where is the reunioun?!?!?

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