Best Spots to Hit When the Sun Goes Down
By Kristopher Neild
Palm Beach / West Palm Beach Local Expert
Going out for a night on the town in the Palm Beach area is a must. High fashion, fancy cars and exquisite drinks confuse the brain into thinking you are in some fusion of New York and Miami. Once you stay out long enough, you begin to see that this place has a uniqueness all its own.
Not every place requires you to pull up in Lambo and rock a pair of D&Gs. Places like Square Grouper are tiki-like in nature; the type of place Jimmy Buffet would want to spend 10-20 hours. Rum drinks and Hawaiian shirts dominate these types of places, as do live music and fish tacos.
If you are looking to dance, nothing bests Clematis Street in West Palm Beach. Heading up to the roof deck at Roxy's provides you with an amazing view of the West Palm skyline and intracoastal. Here you can dance to your heart's content along with the stars of music videos projecting on the big white screen.
Take it up a notch and head to Off-The-Hookah. This place gets absolutely packed after midnight and features the areas best DJs. It is impossible not to leave here with a huge grin on your face and the hopes of returning the following night.
Copper Blues is a new brewpub located on the second floor of City Place in Downtown West Palm Beach (next to Improv). The over 60 beers on tap (mix of local crafts, microbrews, IPAs and more) compliment the scrumptious bar bites, burgers, etc. They have a stage in the center of the place that draws some of the hottest local rock and blues acts. Acts are typically booked for Wed-Sat and posted on the joint's website and facebook page. Open since the middle of May, Copper Blues has been welcoming packed houses and drawing rave reviews from its new customer base. ((561) 404-4101)
For more than ten years now -- even before Clematis Street got its new lease on life -- Respectable has been a mainstay in the area. The combination dance club / live music venue is a haven for the alternative crowd and those looking for something a bit out of the ordinary. Most nights, DJs play a variety of electronic and industrial music for patrons to jam to on the dance floor. At other times, you'll find performances by local and national bands who have a unique sound and are more hardcore than typical music fans appreciate. Along with good drink specials, other attractions include ska, punk, and rock performers, plus whatever's uncategorizable and intriguing. (561-832-9999)
Improv Comedy Club
Improv Comedy Club is a nationwide laugh joint that has a spectacular location in City Place, West Palm Beach. The venue brings in name acts week after week including the likes of Sinbad, Tracy Morgan, Bob Saget, etc. The venue promotes good times, serving up delicious cocktails to help your presence in case on of the comedians attempts to make you the butt. Improv serves up some great dishes too, enabling you to really spend the entire night here. If you love laughs, or are looking for something different to try, head over to Improv to check out the latest in great comedy. (5618331812)
City Cellar Wine Bar and Grill
Large, bustling and active, this establishment is a popular gathering place. Tiered seating is defined by curved partitions, and the rear glass wall of the huge bar provides glimpses of an enormous wine selection. Dark and seductive, City Cellar features a menu that concentrates on grilled seafood and meats. You'll also find pastas, salads, daily specials, and a grill menu that offers cheaper alternatives. Mussels, steamed with chardonnay and shallots, are sublime, and the wood-oven baked pizzas are crisp and smoky. The balcony dining area provides a great view of the courtyard, and the restaurant's outdoor bar draws a constant crowd of singles. (561-366-0071)
Hip, dim, and fashionable, this CityPlace hotspot is always bustling and attracts a steady crowd of upscale professionals and tourists. Behind the bar, musicians perform on an elevated stage against a grid of blue-lit cubbie holes. On any given evening, you're likely to hear Top 40 tunes, Latin music, '70s disco, or classics by Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye. A small dance floor is available, and patrons actually do dance, in between sips of martinis (natch), tequilas, single-malt scotches, handcrafted bourbons, and wines by the bottle and glass. An outdoor bar serves to those who want to watch foot-traffic and be washed by balmy breezes. Appetizers and desserts are available to supplement the booze, and fashionable attire is expected. (561-835-8601)
Roxy's is a multi-storied, multi-faceted Irish pub and nightclub located on Clematis Street in West Palm Beach. On the bottom floor, sports and drinking fans gather around the taps to drink worldly suds and watch Florida sports teams take on the opposition. Up top on the roof deck, you can look out over the city after grabbing a drink at one of the two bar stations. Later in the evening, house music blasts and music videos play on the projection screen. A pretty wild dance party usually ensues, where things can get about as crazy as you let them. This is a great place to end a night on Clematis. ((561) 296-7699)
The Square Grouper is a local institution located on the Jupiter inlet. It is a tiki hut bar with live music nightly. There are multiple points of service where you can get a great rum drink while listening to the musical stylings of local reggae, acoustic and beach "y" music. One of the cool parts of the Square Grouper is how you can walk out onto the docks at night and check out the famous Jupiter Lighthouse. The water is clear blue, and utilizing the local marina's boat lights allows you to see an abundance of fish right at your feet. The Square Grouper is a great place to bring a date, or just to chill out on a cool summer night. ((561) 575-0252)
Revolutions at City Place
Revolutions at City Place is a high end bowling lounge situated between City Place and Clematis Street in West Palm Beach. There are over 30,000 square feet of space for you to bowl, drink, watch sports and play various arcade and billiard-type games. Food and drink are a priority here, as the menu is more than you'd expect from a typical bowling alley (which this is anything but). The lighting and bass pumping music make bowling more like dancing than what you would watch midday on ESPN. Groups get dressed to the nines, come out for a few cocktails and bowl a couple of frames. This place resembles a night club more than anything else. Walking by on the way to City Place, the huge windows expose all the action of the interior, enticing passerbys to come in and see what's up. ((561) 203-6188)
Located by the Clematis Street fountain, Bar Louie is definitely worth checking out for a couple of beers and a delicious meal. The atmosphere is great, whether you're downstairs by the bar or enjoying a little more space in the upstairs seating area. The menu has a large selection of appetizers to dabble in, or try one of their sandwiches. With TVs all around, this is a great spot to catch the game or enjoy the live music in the evenings on off nights. Go on Wednesdays for $1 burger night and great drink specials or stop in for the daily happy hour from 4-7 PM.
Off The Hookah West Palm Beach
By evening, Off-the-Hookah seems like a normal dinner establishment with the addition of plush couches and velvet ropes. Once the sun sets, it turns into a South Beach-esque nightclub. Just beyond the line of dance thirsty people waiting on the bouncer, the admitted smoke hookah and dabble in light conversation. Beyond them, lights flicker and heads bang. Off-the-hookah books top DJs to pump dance music into their establishments. Don't expect to come in here and talk to people - come to dance and drink the night away. The later you come, the better, as the place doesn't really get crowded until midnight. ((561) 837-8577)
About Kristopher Neild
Kris is a South Florida resident, living close to the coast in West Palm Beach. The area lets him delve into his vices - beaching, bar-hopping and baseball. Besides writing about travel & leisure, he is a CFA candidate, hoping to pen an investment newsletter sometime in the future.
Read more about Kristopher Neild here.