Imperium Discoteca: Come Back, We Miss You

The dance floor is getting full.

A friend in town asked what there is to do on a Sunday night, and the first place that came to mind was Karma. But that’s in Barrio Colombia. Something in the Belén/Laureles area, something closer, would be better, we decided.

I suggested Imperium Discoteca.

I have been there a half dozen times and I had fun every single time, once on a Sunday. But something unexpected happened: instead of this being Filippo’s chance to say hello to the nightclub, it was my chance to say goodbye.

Imperium was closed.


Imperium, a nightclub with a great atmosphere, reasonable drink prices, and just overall good times, was found dead on Sunday, July 15. Its age was unknown.

The club, along a popular stretch of Calle 33, played mostly reggaeton and was popular among the young and pretty people who liked to dance close. Sometimes, it was hard to move through Imperium because it was so crowded, and getting to the bathroom meant becoming a human bumper car, bouncing off the people grinding on the dance floor.

One time I went there, I remember one of my friends being enamored with a good-looking paisa girl. He worked up the courage to talk to her, and after 30 minutes of what seemed like an enjoyable conversation, they hit the dance floor.

Regrettably, I can’t say I’ve ever danced at Imperium. Every time I went, I just sat around having drinks. I was always so glued to the conversation because it was a chance for me to practice my Spanish with my paisa friends.

My favorite night there was back in February, when one of my friends ran into his friends, and we were then invited to an after party in Poblado. Good times. It was the last time I went to Imperium, not realizing it would be the last time I’d go, ever.

The club is survived by the thousands of people who have been there, to enjoy.

Goodbye Imperium. You will be missed.

Writer’s note: Imperium has reopened. Enjoy!

Filippo and I ended up going to Karma, which is always great on Sunday. It was good to see Johan, the owner, who is always so nice to me. But even as I had a great time at Karma, I still thought about Imperium, how I miss it so.

On Monday I read a story in Grantland about Daniel Bard, the Red Sox star relief pitcher-turned starter-turned demoted to Triple A Pawtucket after suffering a meltdown in his new role. He’s trying to become a reliever again, but he just can’t seem to find the delivery that allowed him to throw the ball 100 mph and mow down hitters like Rick Vaughn. Charles Pierce, who interviewed Bard and wrote the subsequent article, described the encounter this way:

“Everything he says comes out in the language of someone looking for something that he’s lost, and lost it so thoroughly that he’s not entirely sure what it was anymore, except that it was precious.”

I can relate, kind of.

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