As we push into 2009, maybe a few resolutions (er, recommendations?) are in order. I've come up with nine that could make Twin Cities nightlife even better.

1 No more superclubs

Ask any downtown nightclub owner and they'll tell you the same: We don't need any more clubs. There aren't enough bodies to fill the ones we have, especially in this crippled economy where a free corner of the dance floor is looking as comfy as VIP. There was talk of yet another club going into the Nate's Clothing space on 1st Avenue N., but the building's owner, Vik Uppal, said he's veered away from that idea and wants two upscale restaurants. The first, which he said will be helmed by a "high-profile restaurateur," should open in May.

2 Remodel the Gay 90's

After years of rumors, fans of the Gay 90's feared that the landmark club might finally be sold in 2008 and turned into something entirely different. When Peter Hafiz, the owner of Sneaky Pete's and Deja Vu, bought the club last spring, he promised the opposite: a big-budget renovation that would bring the 90's out of the dumps. While not much has happened since, Hafiz said he will begin renovating the first-floor Happy Hour Bar this month. His larger plans hinge on city approval of a massive rooftop, which is still being talked about. Regardless, Hafiz said he still wants to redo the rest of the club, but he's six months behind. "I think I'm still going to be done in '09 -- I've got to be."

3 Downtown clubs need to take more chances

Playing Top 40 music in the club is basically playing to the lowest common denominator. Most clubs do it, and that's understandable. But it gets boring. Luckily, there are plenty of DJs who have garnered a following by staying outside of the mainstream. How about giving them a chance? I'm thinking of DJs like the Moon Goons, Attitude City and Jimmy 2 Times and Plain Ole Bill. Coincidentally, each of these guys commands a monthly set at First Avenue, the club that built its name on taking chances.

4 Bring back Foundation, or something like it

Speaking of clubs trying something different: That's exactly what Foundation used to do. Then it closed (almost one year to this day). The club, which promoted underground hip-hop and electronic dance music, brought a different attitude to the scene that's been sorely missed. Others have tried to fill its void (the club's former creative director, Zak Khutoretsky, has been hosting DJ shows above Bar-Fly). But without a full-time club like Foundation, downtown is all the more homogeneous.

5 Show St. Paul some love

After years of harping on downtown St. Paul for being boring, the sleepy city finally has enough notable bars to grab our attention. The Bulldog recently joined Pop!!, Innuendo, Camp and Senor Wong in downtown (and there are rumors about another big-time bar opening in the near future).

6 Dig the stadium, hold the sports bars

The new Twins stadium is gonna be great for downtown Minneapolis, and a few new sports bars wouldn't hurt, either. But let's not go overboard.

7 Hip-hop shows need a price cut

When nightclubs skip the normal dance night to host a concert, typically it's going to be hip-hop. Unfortunately, some of the prices for these hip-hop shows have become outrageous ($40 for a mediocre rapper like Rick Ross?). Apparently, the high costs can come from any number of factors: agents driving up the artist's fee, promoters paying the artists too much and clubs not booking their own acts. Either way, hip-hop fans need some relief.

8 More beer geekdom

As you might have heard, beer is the new wine. We have plenty of bars to back up such a claim (Bulldog Lowertown, Busters on 28th, Muddy Pig). But there is always room for more. The truth is, crappy beer is cheap -- easy to sell and easy to buy. But converts have seen the fruits of their labor. Take Stub & Herb's: Once just a normal college bar, now a bonafide fortress of beer geekery. If you'd try it, you'd like it. Promise.

9 Follow the way of Johnny Michaels

Who's Johnny Michaels? He's a bartending savant, leading the creative cocktail revolution from behind the small bar at La Belle Vie. In his hands, the craft of the cocktail becomes a true art. Others have joined the cause, including bartenders at the Town Talk Diner and the Strip Club. And like good beer, we need more. Sounds like the Graves Hotel is listening. It's brought in some heavy hitters from New York to design the beverage program at its soon-to-open cocktail restaurant, Bradstreet. Even Michaels is impressed, which can only mean good things for Twin Cities cocktail enthusiasts.

thorgen@startribune.com 612-673-7909