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Dance to the reggae beat in Deep Ellum
Source: inform.com
Posted on: April 10, 2008 06:45 MST
Filed under: Reggae

Deep Ellum

The reggae-loving community in Dallas isn't huge, but it's worth seeking out, just to see how crazy the fans get over the music.

JASON JANIK/Special Contributor

Palm Beach Club, which opened in Deep Ellum in 1998, is one of the few reggae and dancehall clubs in the city. On Saturdays, most visitors know the words to every song. They whoop for their favorites, and one man might do a fire-blowing trick with his lighter, a sign that the song is hot.

After about a half-hour there, even if you know zilch about reggae, you'll find yourself bobbing your head, pushing your hips from side to side. Man ... that Sean Paul is talented, isn't he? Wait – this isn't Sean Paul? Oops, my bad.

The crowd usually shows up around midnight or 12:30 p.m. On a recent Saturday, the dance floor was reasonably crowded by then, filled with women in heels and jeans or cleavage-baring dresses.

The guys, wearing jeans and collared shirts, stood along the wall, watching.

As the dancehall beats thumped, a man in sunglasses and a Jamaican- flag-colored sash wandered through the crowd with a microphone. He occasionally growled or offered encouraging sounds. (This is the hype man, a fixture at reggae clubs. This one's name is Lionheart.)

It's enough to make you feel like you're at a reggae club, but Palm Beach tries harder to get the message across. Paper palm trees dangle from the ceiling, and there's a grass-hut cover over the bar.

Tables decorated with vases of red roses sit next to the dance floor, for folks who just want to watch. (If so, get up close, because the place is dark.)

The most fun spot is the dance floor, though. Far away from the dude with the lighter. Plan your life

Palm Beach Club: 2816 Main St.; palmbeachreggaeclub.com

What to wear: Ladies – tight jeans, heels, trendy top, necklace and bracelets; men – jeans and hip T-shirt or collared shirt

What the music is like: Reggae on Saturdays and the second and fourth Fridays of the month. Reggae star Luciano performs there April 20.

Drink of choice: Go for the Palm Beach ($8), a mix of fruit-flavored rums, pineapple juice, orange juice, orange liqueur, passion fruit and Crown Royal. Or Red Stripe if you're a beer lover.

Smoking: Yes

Cover charge: Generally free before 11 p.m.; $10 after.

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