Fuel, Atlanta, Georgia


Pay, sweat, bump, and grind.

Located in the heart of Atlanta’s Buckhead community, Fuel’s got exposed brick walls, a massive bar, metal adornments and black everywhere. It’s a hip-hop club that attracts a more mature audience, and has an industrial décor that draws a dance-focused crowd. Fuel’s pricey-looking facade might make it look like a misplaced South Beach venue, but its no-frills interior gives the club a minimalist, laid-back vibe. The nightclub consists of two floors with a large dancefloor and an upstairs VIP section complete with bar. So though Fuel aims to entertain through music, there’s a lot of seating, dark corners, and a voyeuristic catwalk overlooking the dance floor. Or patrons can retire to the roof deck.
On the dancefloor, DJs spin the best of hip-hop and R&B, attracting Atlanta’s urban professionals and music industry types. But does it pass the NightStalkers’ test?

Stalker #1
There was a pretty big crowd outside when I walked up and the outside was really nice. They charge you $20 to get in the door, but I gave it a try anyway. This is a hip-hop club, so if you’re not into that scene, then don’t come here. I kind of felt like I was in one of those rap videos, like 50 Cent was making a sequel to “In Da Club.” However, for this type of club, it does offer a straightforward, more sophisticated experience. Fuel’s industrial warehouse look makes it very conducive to dancing. The dancefloor is a little tight, so you pretty much had to dance up on everyone around you. There were no memorable moments with the music, but the floor never emptied while I was there. And the nice thing was it was a slightly older crowd, so no fuss. It is a good place. And true, Fuel is small, but it does have an upstairs. There were sofas and chairs in the back for relaxation, which was a nice break from the dancefloor. The upstairs has some booths and another bar. Everyone was down to earth, the people were all good, great service, great atmosphere. Now I know what they mean by ghetto fabulous. This is one of the better hip-hop clubs in the Atlanta.

Stalker #2
No room to walk around and mingle, but the dancefloor made for a good time. If you like it rowdy and loud this is the spot. Plus it’s 21 and older so you don’t have to worry about young kids up in there. But Fuel caters to women and overcharges men. Guys can spend $30 before getting on the dancefloor. Lots of good-looking girls. Everyone is dressed in hip-hop gear, and the girls’ dress code is the tighter, the better. The thing they need to change is the variety of music. The DJ sucked, he played the same song two or three times during the night and didn’t change the song when people obviously didn’t like the music. I don’t know why people were dancing, but most the crowd didn’t seem interested in dancing, it seemed to be more about profiling. And by the end of the night everyone was in VIP, and the downstairs dancefloor was empty.

Stalker #3
I went on a Saturday night. The dancefloor is very small and the club gets packed quickly. Fuel was alright, but the music was kind of suspect. I heard the same song three times over the course of the night, but besides that it was nice. Nice atmosphere. The only downside would be the packed dancefloor that didn’t leave much room to dance, but beside that everything was great. The staff was great; the bartenders were very accommodating. I hung out in the VIP room upstairs later in the evening, and checked out the upper level catwalk where you can look down on all the dancers. The place does have an older crowd and not that much room to dance, but the inside of the club looked great with plenty of places to get cozy or get fresh air. But the music was not happening. It definitely sounded like the DJ was playing the same songs over and over. If you’re into being packed alongside other partiers, then you’ll like Fuel. It’s too small for the crowd it attracts.
Copyright 2003 Club Systems International Magazine
Copyright 2003 TESTA Communications