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 solid choice for pub food and drinks year round. 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." With a number of tables as well as bar seating, it's also popular for those looking to mingle and enjoy a night on the town. The drinks can be strong! Dargan's is a favorite spot for sport enthusiasts to enjoy a drink during the game. Free parking is available just behind the pub, and The Majestic Ventura Theater is across the street.
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. Be ready to dance.
The Tavern is one of Ventura's most popular bars. As a house transformed into lounge, there are separated areas for almost every type of nightlife enthusiast. 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 a 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.
The Wine Rack is just off Ventura's main downtown street, offering wines by the glass or bottle 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 aficionado. The Wine Rack even includes live music sets in their nightly hours, making a perfect stop for those looking for a before or after dinner drink. It's also a great place to enjoy as a destination, indulging in good wine, company and music. Their wine shop selection is greater than you will find elsewhere in town, so its a favorite among those planning a special occasion.
Social Tap is located just steps from the beach. This restaurant and brew pub brings 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, local wine and signature spirits. This quintessential California pub even offers fresh and locally-sourced food, including street tacos and burgers. If you like to drink in the morning too, their Bloody Mary bar is excellent. Get ready to load up on pickled garnishes!
Taking on double duty as a well-attended restaurant and busy bar, Winchester's always attracts a crowd. The old western decor takes you back to the days of the saloon, but the food and drink menu is a little more modern. Its Main Street location ensures a good measure of foot traffic, and its welcoming ambience keeps folks around, laughing and socializing. Dozens of draft beers and a full liquor bar guarantee tasty libations, and the kitchen offers steaks, burgers, seafood, chicken and a few more exotic alternatives. An outdoor patio and special drink promotions heighten the appeal. With areas that can fit large numbers, it's easy to designate Winchester's as the social hotspot. A perennial favorite.
Nightlife isn't always about going out dancing! Sometimes you just want a good laugh (and a drink won't hurt either). When you're in the mood for a chuckle, head to the water and hit the Ventura Harbor Comedy Club. This famous club brings in some great headliners of all sizes and levels of notoriety. They also serve up casual food and drinks, so you can really make yourself at home during your stay. You can book a space and even a comedian for your private events. The Ventura Harbor Comedy Club also offers a six-week comedy workshop that will help you tap into your gut busting potential.
Barrelhouse is a great bar with oodles of beer, hard liquor and great food. The "101" stands for the number of beers they offer, so 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 craft 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.
And now for something completely different... to be transported in both time and place head directly to VenTiki, Ventura's only tiki bar. Here the drinks are positively tropical, the decorations are certainly magical ,and the service is just delightful. Enjoy all the classics like Mai Tais, Zombies, Singapore Slings and more, all served in appropriate tiki glassware. They also have food... so you can keep drinking of course. Sit at the bar and watch classic movies play on the TV or enjoy your drink in the sunshine on the patio. One tip: if you've got a great Hawaiian shirt, this is the place to wear it.
More performance venue than club, this one-time movie house (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. Boozy drinks are available, along with some foods. Other kinds of acts are occasionally booked as well. Floor space is for standing only. There is seating on the top floor, with 21 and over standing space in between the two areas. With its central location in downtown Ventura, it's a popular venue to catch a show. The place has a capacity of 1150.