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Nightclub Reviews: Johnny D's

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Club Reviews for Johnny D's
16 Reviews Found

Ratings*: 1 to 5, 5=best
(#) = number of responses
Overall Reviewers' Rating: 3.7 (15 resp)
Atmosphere: 4.0 (15 resp) Dancing: 3.5 (15 resp)
Dance Floor: 2.3 (15 resp) Noise Level/Volume: 3.9 (15 resp)
Music Quality: 3.9 (15 resp) Parking: 3.5 (14 resp)
% Salsa: 80.2 (16 resp) % Merengue: 12.2 (16 resp)
% House: 10.0 (1 resp) % Other: 8.5 (13 resp)
* Published ratings are compiled directly from response received from the dancing public. SalsaBoston.com in no way endorses ratings as they appear.

Reviewed by "apa_75" on 7/17/2006 11:57:45 Pop up this reviewer's ratings
Went to Johnny D's for the first time last night (sunday)and had a wonderful time. The guy to girl ration is just right, as is the live band. The guys were not shy to ask a girl to dance and although the dance floor was very small, there was a large carpeted area that was just as good to dance on. I am still a beginner and trying out different clubs. I went to one last week and enjoyed watching the dancers, but I was utterly lost myself. It seemed that everyone there was professional, but at Johnny D's there was everything from first timers to seasoned pro's and I did not feel intimidated at all. I had a great time. I have read in other reviews that the band tended to play long songs, but I didn't feel that they were long at all, just right, in fact. I had no problem getting a drink, as there was a large bar as well as waitresses. It was not too crowded, so there was room to move and practice. I'm thinking that Johnny D's might be my new Sunday night dance spot!

Reviewed by "Mike" on 9/10/2005 11:15:7 Pop up this reviewer's ratings
Had a lot of fun here. Lots of people, all very friendly. Shame the dance floor wasnt bigger. The carpet is fine to dance on though. Loved the live band, though their songs were all a little too long for my liking.

Reviewed by "salsamanic" on 7/14/2003 22:51:35 Pop up this reviewer's ratings
What has happened to Johnny??? Once a reverence for the music and the mystery of salsa sparkled within the glittering lights. Now roasted, grilled, mummified bourgeois collegiates soon to be grandma's and grandpa's, dance with stilded smiles and luke warm camaraderie. Beware the free and the enlivened, emboldened salseros, they will seek to crucify you!!!! Maybe the bartenders has has mikied their drinks. Yeah, that's it.

Reviewed by "Dust" on 5/29/2003 3:44:11 Pop up this reviewer's ratings
Two great things about Sunday nights at Johnny D's are the lesson and the band. The lesson is taught by Ana & Andres. However, sometimes one or both of them might not be there and there will be a substitute teacher from Jamnastics teaching. I attended one class there taught by Ana and it was EXCELLENT! Some nightclub classes don't breakdown technique, but she incorporated that into teaching the footwork and turn pattern. The second great thing about Johnny D's is that you get a live band! Rumbanama plays there each week giving you old and new salsa favorites. DJs are great, but sometimes it takes the music being produced right there on the spot for you to truly feel it. Having only been there twice, the first time I attended, the band was good. The second time I attended they were EXCELLENT. Attendance/Vibe there depends on when you go. I went one night that was just a typical Sunday night and attendance was light-to-moderate. I went the following week which happened to be the Sunday before a holiday and the place was PACKED. There was not much room to move, I got kicked and stepped on by high heels a few times, etc. But the cure for a stepped-on foot is always to do a couple Suzy Q's to shake the hurt off--voila! pain is gone! In spite of the lack of space and bruises though I still had a fun. Even the night when the attendance was light, I had a great time. One of my standards for liking a salsa spot is that men are being social and asking women to dance. This happens at Johnny D's. People are very friendly, usually in a happy mood and there is a mix of levels. People are patient with you if you miss a step. Also, I was pleasantly surprised to see that a lot of the people who are regulars at El Bembe and Ryles go there, so you may not be at a loss for finding familiar faces and dance partners. On the other hand, I came across some great dancers I had never seen before out on the Boston salsa circuit who go there, so you can dance with some new faces too. As other reviewers have noted, there is a small dance floor and then a big carpet area. It's no problem dancing on the carpet there. I had no problems doing spins and turns on it and actually preferred dancing there than on the small dance floor. The location is excellent. It is right across the street from the Davis Square T stop on the Red Line. So for only $12 (admission + RT fare on the T) you get a nice salsa night out. Students, be sure to get your student discount and only pay $8 for admission. One thing to remember though is that Johnny D's is a bar and then there's a dance area. So there is a whole crowd of people there who are not there for salsa, but just to drink. So ladies just stay aware of yourselves. I would definitely recommend going to Johnny D's and possibly making it a regular nightspot for yourself if you find the vibe is right for you.

Reviewed by "mark" on 11/11/2002 13:27:52 Pop up this reviewer's ratings
I have been there on a Sunday. I entered after the classes were over. There were few people. The band is very good. The dance floor is tiny but if you have no problems with dancing on a carpet it's fine. Even with few people I was never without a partner for dancing. I really recommend this place on Sundays, maybe they get more people like this :)

Reviewed by "femmelatina" on 7/3/2002 11:54:12 Pop up this reviewer's ratings
I have heard several things through Salsa.com and people of Salsa Sunday's at Johnny D's. I wanted to check it out for myself. I was extremely pleased with the salsa lessons--the instructors were truly amazing. The atmosphere was very laid back not pretencious. I loved that it was a mix of friendly people of different ages and backgrounds. People were there to have fun and dance and did we ever with Rumbanama! This band is like no other--they had so much energy and talent. The lead singer was fabulous at getting the audience involved in the music. Overall, I loved Johnny D's. The live band was spectacular. I will definately be a regular. I highly recommend this place to anyone who really wants to dance in a comfortable and friendly environment to an outstanding salsa band.

Reviewed by "DropZone" on 9/29/2001 6:52:19 Pop up this reviewer's ratings
For a $10 cover here is what you get THE LESSON Quite a nice lesson with miked instructors, a lot of solo work and I learned one cool move in the intermediate class (but it should be at least two given the time and cover...). Warning, they teach New York style "on two" which takes quite a bit of getting used to if you learned on 1. THE BAND I love dancing to live music. Rumbanama does great covers of the classics wih a hard driving groove. The lead singer has a wonderfully confident voice however, the brass section is quite poor, their attacks and pitch are way off on almost every song and can be quite a distraction for those with a musical ear. Great percussion, especially the timbales. THE MUSIC Great mix of mostly salsa some merengue and even some "salsaized" cumbia. Great music selection and at just the right volume. THE FLOOR Small wooden area in front of stage, carpeted area for the rest of us. It works I guess, but you might get stepped on occasionally. THE PEOPLE No attitudes as far as I can tell. Novice and advanced are both welcome here. People come to dance or to learn, not to be seen unlike some places ( Sophia's ). M/F Ratio is about even most nights. Mid to late 20's. Recommended especially since it's right of the Davis Square T-stop. -Dropzone Dropzone@visto.com

Reviewed by "new to the seen" on 9/25/2001 16:46:57 Pop up this reviewer's ratings
There is not much to do on Sunday so I thought I would try something new. I had heard of Johnny D's with mix reviews but I thought I'd check it out for myself. The place was nice and laid back people seemed friendly. I was very dissapointed with the cohesiveness of the band. It seemed that everyone was on a different tune and the leader showed a bit of his frustration on stage with his band members. This band has great potential but they need to get a tight grip on their music. They definately need more original work. It would be great if the got the audience more involved. It appears that the band members should dance or something--especially the leader--maybe he should take a salsa lesson because he was getting me confused with his jumping around instead of staying with some consistent dance steps that follows the clave. This place has a lot of potential but I was overal dissapointed with the music. Also, be careful the dance floor is so small and people are not very careful with stepping on your toes.

Reviewed by "salsaWannabe" on 3/11/2001 1:54:55 Pop up this reviewer's ratings
Friendly laid back atmosphere. Band is decent, although it would be nice if they shortened their songs a bit so you didn't have to dance with the same person for 15 minutes. They could also do some slower to medium paced music for the beginners. There tend to be an over supply of guys. Maybe JD's could advertise this place at Simmons College, Radcliffe and Wellesley College. Maybe the women can't deal with all the cigarette smoke, the ventilation could be a bit better I suppose. Although I am being a bit nitpicky here,overall this is a good nonintimidating place to go dance. Better than some of the places I have been.

Reviewed by "gringa salsera" on 2/22/2001 22:12:35 Pop up this reviewer's ratings
Careesan must have gone on a bad night! My favorite thing about Johnny D's is the laid-back atmosphere. I have yet to meet an unfriendly person there or to be intimidated away from the floor by nothing but flashy dancers showing off their superstar moves. The place has a very neighborhood feel to it. Beginners don't feel out of place, yet there are enough experienced dancers that people who already know how to dance won't be bored either. There tend to be more men than women which is good news for us ladies. Also, the men don't seem intimidated by women asking THEM to dance, which is nice (sometimes you get sick of waiting, you know?). Some nights it does get so crowded that it's hard to move. My only real complaint about Johnny D's is the dance floor, which is miniscule and forces you to dance beside it on the carpet. Dancing on the carpet is perfectly do-able, as long as you don't dance near the stage edge, which I've tripped over several times... nice slick move to impress a partner ;) One thing you gotta love is that, if you ask nicely, the bartenders will give you tap water in a cup rather than making you drop $4.00 on a bottled water like some other clubs I could name.

Reviewed by "Careesan" on 1/10/2001 23:26:0 Pop up this reviewer's ratings
From the outside, Johnny D's is cheerful and inviting, this short red house with draped, glowing white Christmas lights. Inside, it is much less appealing. It is small, dark and has the setup of a Chuck 'E Cheese turned night club. It is plain, but also unpretentious. I went for the Sunday salsa night with Rumba Nama. I expected a talented, refined band, since they appeared week after week as a set venue. All What a disappointment as the band played it's first few stanzas of music. The members were out of sync, at least two players seemed to come out of a remedial high school band ensemble, hitting flat notes the entire night. It was difficult to dance to, since a steady rhythm was lacking, and was utterly unmotivating. Johnny D's was not worth it. It is not worth the cover charge and not worth the trip out to Sommerville. I had more fun dancing in my home afterwards than the whole time spent at Johnny D's.

Reviewed by "Adrian" on 11/10/2000 21:51:56 Pop up this reviewer's ratings
I love this place. The live band alone (6 people) worth for the cover charge. The salsa class is great for beginners but lack more excited moves if you already know how to dance. People are very friendly and ready to shake the bum-bum. The band is from Puerto Rico, with great attitude and a very up beat rhythm always. I have to agree that the only option is to dance on the carpet but it is actually a good thing if you fall trying a more exotic move (this happened to me couple weeks ago). For Sunday I havenít yet found a better place. And good news for the ladies is that there are usually more men than women.

Reviewed by "gringolero" on 10/1/2000 0:55:28 Pop up this reviewer's ratings
This is one of my favorite places to salsa due to the atmosphere and the band. The band is one of the best in the area, they have the energy and the tightness to make the salsa sound really good. Everyone is there to dance, there is a minimum of pretense, and beginners are tolerated! The downsides: the dance floor is small (but everyone uses the carpet), it can get crowded on Sundays before a holiday... also sometimes the music is a bit loud, but not oppressive or extraordinarily so. Go for the lessons too, they are always good for learning a new move...

Reviewed by "peregrina" on 9/11/2000 7:5:19 Pop up this reviewer's ratings
Nice, unpretentious atmosphere on Sunday nights, featuring a live band with a relatively low cover ($6) and inexpensive drinks. Although the actual dance floor was tiny, the dancing area extended well beyond the floor onto the entire carpeted room. As a result, unlike many other clubs, bumps and bruises were kept to a minimum. Crowd was mixed, with a fairly even ratio of men to women, and all levels represented. People seemed friendly and ventured out of the groups they came with. If only they could keep the dancing going until 2, or at least 1:00...

Reviewed by "salsaholica" on 7/26/2000 13:59:29 Pop up this reviewer's ratings
Lazy Sunday afternoons are a great lead in to an evening at Johnny D's. The atmosphere is kind of laid back, this being the last chance to get some salsa in before the weekend ends. The dance floor is way to small and a bit wavy. You can dance on the rug, almost better than the dance floor except on humid nighst when turning on the rug can be a chore for ladies. There is a mixture of dancers of various skill levels but not the elitism that can be found at some of the salsa clubs. The bar and tables are separated from the dance area so folks resting out a dance can get up higher and enjoy the view, maybe study a cool move to copy at home later in front of a mirror. The DJ music and the live music are both great, which of course means almost every song is danceable which is exactly what I'm looking for...maybe you too!

Reviewed by "Salsera" on 7/10/2000 10:10:26 Pop up this reviewer's ratings
Johnny D's Salsa night on Sunday is a great venue for the serious salsa dancer. Live music, with a remarkably good band that connects well with the audience, kept things moving all night. Even the recorded music when the band took a break was wisely chosen. The place offers a good mixture of salsa and merengue, with some bachata and cumbia thrown in. What makes the place so good, though, is the clientele. Good music brings out good dancing, and the evidence is right there at Johnny D's. The atmosphere is friendly and encouring to beginners as well, and there is a lesson that starts the whole evening (which I did not attend). The wood dance floor is a bit too small, but that does not stop the dancers from taking advantage of the spacious carpeted area around the official floor. Best of all, from a female point of view, was the balanced mix of men and women in the audience. Women coming alone would not feel out of place, and everyone was polite and well-behaved. All together, an extremely well-run venue and an enjoyable night out.

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