Rick’s American Cafe is absurd, and I mean this in the absolute best way possible. When you descend into the basement establishment, you enter a space that is drunk and dance-y, dark and warm, loud and energizing. The sea of bodies that congregate there may be experiencing varied levels of inevitable inebriation, but they share a common goal: to have a really, really great night. And that they do.

Uncle Richard’s has the perfect set-up, really. The bar is in close proximity to great late-night eats — BackRoom, Pizza House, Pancheros; pick your poison. You also have the option of stopping by any of the number of bars on South University Avenue before hitting the Rick’s dancefloor; because shimmying for a few hours definitely cancels out that sixty-four-ounce fishbowl.

Inside, the multi-level layout allows for pockets of dancing, conversation and drinking. There’s the stage, perfect for dancing in the neon glow of the famous “Rick’s” sign; the sunken floor in the center, ever-crowded and always bumping; the main bar area, churning out mind-probes at an alarming rate. The floor may be sticky and the decisions made there questionable, but Rick’s is a blurry staple. Enter at your own risk.

Check out the rest of 2017’s Best of Ann Arbor here.

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