Erica Schlaikjer

Erica SchlaikjerThe Daily Northwestern

If you could rank bars and nightclubs by difficulty, SPIN would be a nice choice for beginner-to-intermediate partygoers. It’s just a couple of blocks from the Red Line, the DJs blast an easy-to-please mix of music and the crowd is about diverse as you get, especially for being located right on the edge of Boystown at the corner of Belmont and Halsted.

But there are certain nights that attract a specific type of crowd. On the last Friday of every month – soon-to-be a weekly event – you’ll see towel-clad beef muffins shaking their groove things underneath a cascade of water during the club’s infamous “Shower Contest,” where exhibitionists compete for cash prizes. And on other special occasions, knock elbows with some elaborately costumed drag queens and transvestites.

The mood is friendly and all-inclusive, particularly suitable for newbie clubbers. You can sit and chat by the bar if it’s not too crowded, shoot some pool, watch music videos and dance away. There are two main rooms, including three full-service bars, a “retro lounge” with a disco ball, and a small stage. The best deals are $1 drinks Wednesday nights (with a $5 cover). You’ll get drunk quickly, but the getting-hit-on-by-creeps factor is fairly low.

After you practice partying at SPIN, you’ll be ready to move on to other bars. But be warned – advanced clubbers have to deal with rude bouncers, pretentious scenesters and dress codes. So sometimes it’s best to just keep it simple – SPIN.