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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Tucson’s best kept secret

    Take a walk down the bathroom hall of fame, and you’ll see why Hotel Congress is one of Tucson’s indispensable hot spots for music and nightlife.

    Along the walls are framed articles from media powerhouses like Playboy, Blender and Rolling Stone showcasing the historical site’s mod music venues and dining alternatives.

    “”There’s something going on here all the time, that’s kind of the nice thing,”” said David Slutes, Club Congress’ entertainment director for more than 12 years. “”And for people from out of town, they like to come here because they know something will be going on.””

    The structure has five bars, with the club offering live music seven days a week and a theme every night.

    “”Historically, we have done the most interesting stuff as far as live music and any kind of performances or performance art,”” Slutes said. “”We book very creatively here, and a lot of interesting folks sort of gravitate here, so there’s a lot of creative energy. We consider ourselves sort of the epicenter of the Tucson art scene.””

    But surprisingly, a lot of UA students don’t know much about Congress.

    “”I’ve been here for three full years, and I’ve never been down there,”” said Clare Kosinski, a senior majoring in theater and media arts. “”I’m not a big crazy party person but I’d probably go check it out with a group of friends.””

    Artists like Ben Harper and Justin Long (“”Dodgeball””, “”Live Free Die Hard””) have stayed at the trendy 40-room hotel.

    “”Ben Harper stayed here, and I went up to him and was like I just want to shake your hand and tell you how much I like your music,”” said Joe Young, a server for the restaurant.

    Young added that he thought Harper was relieved he didn’t want an autograph from the meeting.

    “”So it’s kind of a neat historical hotel and restaurant,”” said Slutes. “”One of the coolest things, it is as it was a half century ago, there are no TVs in the room. But it’s really hip.””

    The club and the restaurant harmonize as a creative junction for artists and food enthusiasts.

    “”(The restaurant) just has a great chef and a great menu,”” Slutes said. “”It all works very synergistically well together.””

    In Cup Café, “”Baker Bill”” is internationally famous for his delicate desserts and mouth-watering tastes.

    “”There’s actually regulars that have been coming here for years just for coffee and desert,”” Young said.

    The restaurant offers food for all price ranges, including succulent hors d’oeuvres and three course meals.

    And if you’re just in the mood to sit and enjoy fruitful company and conversation, there’s a serene patio offering a view of downtown.

    Hotel Congress takes the trends of the food and art scene and creates its own spin on Tucsonan culture.

    “”Name another place that does all (the) things that we do and continues to do it,”” Slutes said. “”This year we’re going to have put on over 300 hundred performances and that doesn’t include our live music.””

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