Ventura County Offers Variety of Options for Dancing the Night Away

Ventura County has never been known to have a great number of dance clubs or late night venues, however in recent years downtown Ventura has made a significant effort in creating nightlife attractions that vary from lounges to wine bars. Some bars take advantage of ocean views and proximity while others sought just the right venue in order to create an atmosphere that facilitates dancing, drinking, and socializing. Brew pubs such as Barrelhouse 101 or Dargan's are the perfect locations to grab a beer with friends and catch a sporting event on television, while spots such as The Tavern, Bombay Bar & Grill, or The It's All Good Bar are hoping to bring people together with live music, DJs, and dance floors. Even newer establishments like the Blu Orkid are picking up the modern lounge theme and introducing it to the casual downtown scene. Still, its not surprising to see people in shorts, tank tops, or flip flops at any of these venues. Even catching a show at The Majestic Ventura Theater will not require dressy attire, although you won't stand out if you do decide to get a little dressier in attire. Most clubs and bars close by 2AM but with close proximity for most of them, it's easy to have a fulfilling night of fun. 

10 It's All Good Bar
Although smaller in size to the other bars in downtown Ventura, It's All Good Bar (nicknamed "The Good Bar") is just as popular. With a full bar and seating both inside and outside, its an easy stop for those enjoying a night on the town. However The Good Bar is best known for their constant entertainment and live music, featuring local bands from all different genres. Although small in space, The Good Bar makes sure to provide enough room for its patrons to dance the night away and positions the band at eye-level to those willing to bust a move on the dance floor. Located on Main Street, is a downtown stop everyone tries to make in support of local musicians and good music. The staff is down to earth and the decor is similar to a regular brew pub while the bar itself is made of actual pennies and surfboard resin. The crowd is always varied but with a common interest: live bands. (8056419951)

9 Blu Orkid
The Blu Orkid is a restaurant, bar and lounge just off Main Street in downtown Ventura. While it serves excellent brunch and entrees during the day, it transforms with cool lighting, modern furnishings, and signature cocktails after 9PM. Deemed the "Cool Blu Lounge" at such time, the location has become a popular destination for those looking to branch out from the regular pub scene in Ventura. Blu Orkid creates a sophisticated mood, complete with blue lighting against white furniture and scattered displays of, you guessed it, blue orchids. Their appetizer plates are generous in wine or spirit pairings of brie, nuts, and fruit and the outdoor area boats of big club seats and seating for large parties to socialize. Most patrons return to the venue for the ambiance but the destination is also popular for their $4 mimosas earlier in the day. (8056530003)

8 Dargan's Irish Pub
Dargan's Irish Pub and Restaurant has a location in Ventura as well as Santa Barbara. While they are the obvious choice for a Saint Patrick's Day celebration, the pub is also a popular choice for pub food and drinks. Their full bar offers quick service and a famous sign that states their motto, "Alcohol is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." It's a popular location for locals to reunite for a night on the town and with a good number of tables as well as bar seating, it's also popular for those looking to mingle and enjoy a night downtown. The drinks are often strong with generous pours and with several television sets, its also a favorite spot for sport enthusiasts to sit down for a drink during the game. Free parking is available just behind the pub and The Majestic Ventura theater is just across the street. (8056483001)

7 Majestic Ventura Theater
More performance venue than club, this one-time movie house, which opened in 1928, boasts elaborate details to complement its mission style architecture. These days, the restored place is one of the area's most desirable concert halls, showcasing such talents as Johnny Lang, Counting Crows, Phish, Arctic Monkeys, Tori Amos, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Complete alcohol offerings are available, along with some foods, and other entertainments are occasionally booked as well. Floor space is for standing attendants and there is seating on the top floor, with 21 and over standing space in between the two areas. With its central location to downtown Ventura, it's a popular venue to catch an intimate show with your favorite performers. The place has a capacity of 1150. (805-653-0721)

6 The Tavern Ventura
The Tavern is Ventura's most popular dance club and bar. As a house transformed into lounge, there are separated areas for every type of nightlife pursuer. Downstairs offers big booths, a full bar, and often a live band. Walk farther into The Tavern and you will find another bar, complete with dance floor and another live band or DJ. The back patio has yet another bar as well as cabanas, booths, and plenty of deck space for guests to mingle and dance. The Tavern actually also functions as a restaurant during the day, which is the best time to enjoy their classic and rustic decor, complete with vintage books and blackboards. While its location is bit separated from downtown's main drag, its worth the short walk to take advantage of a true lounge and dance floor. (8056433264)

5 Barrelhouse 101
Barrelhouse 101 is a new venue near downtown Ventura, but having recently celebrated its one year anniversary, it's become obvious it is here to stay. With 101 standing for the number of beers they offer, its no surprise the restaurant is a popular stop for beer enthusiasts. While they also have a full menu offering appetizers and entrees, most patrons are quick to order a cold pint. The venue also hosts special tastings and events by breweries, offering seasonal brews and samplers. Most caft beers come from California, but there are also labels from Oregon, Washington, and Utah, to name a few. Locals usually stop by Barrelhouse 101 for a beer before heading downtown, taking advantage of the bar and outdoor patio for a fun start to the night. (8056430906)

4 Social Tap
Social Tap is the newest establishment to the social scene in Ventura County. Located just steps from the beach, Social Tap is a restaurant and brew pup built to bring people together while they drink and enjoy the coastal environment. Live bands often play at the venue, creating a fun hangout for all ages and bringing in local musicians from the surrounding area. Draft and seasonal beers are popular among guests, as is bottled beer, wine selection, signature spirits. The quintessential California pub even offers fresh and locally sourced food, including street tacos and burgers. Keep an eye on this place, its sure to gain popularity with its prime location and offerings. (8056678485)

3 Watermark on Main
Watermark on Main has made a mark on the downtown scene with its unique and sleek ambiance. With modern appeal and old world touches, Watermark came to Ventura with the idea to combine fine dining and a lounge and bar experience. The restaurant specializes in locally inspired dishes while the W2O lounge is known for their signature cocktails. There is mood lighting and several water features throughout all areas of the bar and a rooftop lounge can host private parties and even offers cabana rentals. There is often live music and special events, perfect during happy hour when guests come for drinks instead of dinner. Watermark does have a dress code unlike other downtown establishments, so it is an upscale experience in comparison to the other nightlife you may encounter. It is often the preferred location for those looking to stay in one place for the night. (8056436800)

2 The Wine Rack
The Wine Rack is just off Ventura's main downtown street, offering wine selections and appetizer platters. The staff is friendly and helpful, giving recommendations for those who are new to wine tasting and advanced knowledge for those who are looking to experience new wines. They also offer speciality cheese platters and a large selection of wine-related gifts for the affection-ado. The Wine Rack even includes live music sets in their nightly hours, making a perfect stop for those looking for a stop before or after dinner. It's also a great place to spend as a destination, enjoying good wine, company, and music. Their selection is greater than you will find at a typical restaurant so its a favorite among those planning a special occasion. (8056539463)

1 Bombay Bar & Grill
Hip and boisterous, this bar and dance club isn't intended for those who might want a relaxing evening. Only if you're ready to break it down and party should you head over. Once there, take in the mix of music (reggae, dance, pop, rock, and jazz) and wedge yourself in among the booty-shakers. Tunes are loud, folks are wired, and the place rocks with the energy of live performers and even karaoke at times. Food is also available, should you need something to help soak up the alcohol. In fact, in the middle of the night tacos are available for $1.00. Be ready to dance. (805-643-4404)

Tori fell in love with southern California’s Spanish architecture and palm-lined beaches, moving to "the American Riviera" as soon as possible after a childhood in Ventura. A sun and beach lover, Tori spends her free time enjoying community events and festivals, eating Mexican food, and walking the city’s foothills with her Australian Shepherd.  

Read more about Tori Bodin here.

Connect with Tori via: Blog | Google+ | Pinterest

From Our Partners

Maps and Directions

It's All Good Bar 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Live Entertainment, Live Music
Neighborhood: Oxnard
Blu Orkid 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Lounge
Neighborhood: Oxnard
Dargan's Irish Pub 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Brew Pub
Neighborhood: Oxnard
Majestic Ventura Theater 10Best List Arrow
Type: Live Entertainment, Live Music
Neighborhood: Oxnard
The Tavern Ventura 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Dance Club, Live Entertainment, Live Music, Lounge
Neighborhood: Oxnard
Barrelhouse 101 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Brew Pub
Neighborhood: Oxnard
Social Tap 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Brew Pub, Live Music
Neighborhood: Oxnard
Watermark on Main 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Live Entertainment, Live Music, Lounge
Neighborhood: Oxnard
The Wine Rack 10Best List Arrow
Type: Live Music
Neighborhood: Oxnard
Bombay Bar & Grill 10Best List Arrow
Type: Dance Club, Live Music
Neighborhood: Oxnard
comments powered by Disqus