Discover Newark's Nightlife Rebirth: from Ironbound to University Heights



When you are planning a trip, likely you deal with the main details: the flight and the hotel. If you have any time left over, you may be able to scope out restaurants. The nightlife may be the last part of your research, and therefore, the most left up to chance. This is how we end up in a dive bar with no character, just because it is around the corner from our hotel.

We don't expect you to plan your trip down to the letter, but articles like this can help to make your nights feel as bright as the daytime. These are the clubs and lounges and bars that will provide an experience along with a stiff drink.

Perhaps you just want to go to a local pub, with an affinity for beer and a seriously good burger. Then Krug's Tavern is your place. They will set you up with a microbrew and a 12 ounce patty to help to shake off the day.

Or are you looking for some seriously good jazz music? The Priory has a unique location, in a church building with stained glass windows. Quality music at affordable prices will leave a little remaining for a cocktail or two.

Or, even more serious? Consider Newark's Museum Nights on FREE late Thursdays when the city's museums compete for your attention trying to outdo each other – my museum is sexier than yours. You be the judge.

Embrace the nighttime hours with these 10Best nightlife entertainment options in Newark.



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Admit it: there are times of the year where you wish you could wear a bikini or Speedo most of the year. Well, Rio Lounge actually has some people who do, but don't worry, it's not a requirement. To go with the eternally sunny theme, this small Brazilian nightclub evokes Rio de Janerio with tapas and Latin and American music to fight the winter (or spring or fall) blues. Happy hour, from 3pm to 8pm, includes the unbeatable $1 sangria. Soccer is the name of the sports game, with televised games on Saturdays and Sundays. It's not just soccer. It's a soccer party.


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Did you say beer selection? Redds Biergarten serves classic bar bites, paired with a very long list of draft brews and wine by the glass. Set in a former industrial space of about 7,000 square feet, it is fitted with picnic tables, like what you would be sitting at in a beer garden in the heart of Bavaria. Murals of the German countryside lend some authenticity and old-world flair. Redd's Biergarten rightly made its home "In the Heart of Newark's Arena District" heart of the city's rich beer history with the likes of Ballantine Brewery, G. Krueger Brewing Company and Anheuser-Bush, which helped shape the city in the early 20th. century. A new Redds has opened in Carlstadt, NJ.


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Eclipse nightclub has been now open for over 25 years, with entertainment running from Wednesday nights through Monday nights. DJs spin reggae, hip hop and soca, and people come to dance. Should you prefer a distraction from the dance floor (or just a welcome break), there is a wide screen TV. They are very proud of the fact that they have one of the "very best cricket teams" in the New Jersey League, so if a game is playing, you can bet that the TV will be tuned in to it. Expect a more mature crowd, with a casual but trendy dress code.


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Aside from being one of the more established watering holes in the Ironbound, Krug's also holds claim to serving up some of Newark's top burgers, fries and onion rings. 12 ounce juicy burgers are cooked to order and topped with anything from marinara sauce to strips of bacon to the popular "Taylor Ham" burger. Not the type of place to get carried away with the smoke and mirrors of daily themes, loud music or kitschy decor, this laid-back Wilson Avenue establishment is what it is "a good, old-fashioned neighborhood bar that appeals to folks from all walks of life.


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If your favorite people at night are the ones that go all out, then you have to meet the crowd at Hell's Kitchen Lounge. Part sexy bar, part kitschy Vegas lounge, Hell's Kitchen certainly is one of the coolest places to hang out in Ironbound. Each night has a different treat, from Wednesday's "bacon and beer" theme to Thursday's burlesque nights. DJs scratch on the weekends, and there is even brunch if you prefer to check Hell's Kitchen out in the daytime hours. Just embrace the cheesy aspects, such as the leopard rug and Marilyn Monroe photo and you will do just fine.


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You would not imagine that a museum might join this nightbird crowd but Newark Museum is not just any museum especially on Late Thursdays. Designed with adults in mind, the Newark Museum's Late Thursdays is a series of creatively-inspired social evenings that offer a fresh take on the Museum's captivating collections, through a dynamic mix of music, food, drinks, art, and entertainment. Sometimes those experiences are interactive such as body painting live nude models based on inspiration from the African collection under the guidance of an artist. Recently Mediterranean Nights gave visitors a chance to spin, whirl, and twirl to the sounds of the drumming of an Egyptian tamboura dance.


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Housed in what was once a sporting-goods store, Mompou preserved the exposed brick walls, copper ceiling and added recessed lights. Transformed it into a restaurant in 2005, it was named after the Catalan composer and pianist Federico Mompou. New for 2018 are Flamingo Nights on Sundays kick off at 6pm; the first series featured Grammy award winner Hernan Romero. Some credit Mompou for redefining and elevating the restaurant scene in Newark's Ironbound District. Combining great food, wine, and a lively calendar of live performances, Mompou has been garnering attention on both sides of the Hudson. Piquillos rellenos, small smoky peppers stuffed with chicken and shrimp, often a seasonal delicacy, is a must to order.


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Call this 7th heaven as it is the 7th Barcade location outfitted with arcade aficionados in mind. Focused on classic video games and American craft beer and, yes, classical arcades. Thanks to a collaborative film directing effort that resulted in a feature film called "American Beer," a group of friends found themselves unwinding in a loft playing arcades and what else? Drinking craft beer. If classic 1980's video games are not your style, have no fear, the pinball machines arrived in 2017. The real stars of the show are the small craft brews from pale ale brewed with tropical fruits to German-style Hefeweizen, to blonde brew spiked with Sriracha. Best sipped with friends.


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For jazz aficionados, few places in Newark hold a candle to the Priory, a restaurant and club appropriately located in a renovated section of the old St. Joseph church. Actually, some original architectural and design elements (like the stained glass windows) remain, creating quite a space for enjoying topnotch music and deliciously done Creole and Southern specialties. For a special treat on Sunday, be sure to secure a table for the brunch buffet, which features live jazz until 3pm. Run by the non-profit New Community Corporation, the Priory is staffed by volunteers to make jazz accessible and affordable to all.


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You would not imagine that a museum might join this nightbird crowd but Newark Museum is not just any museum especially on Late Thursdays. Designed with adults in mind, the Newark Museum's Late Thursdays is a series of creatively-inspired social evenings that offer a fresh take on the Museum's captivating collections, through a dynamic mix of music, food, drinks, art, and entertainment. Sometimes those experiences are interactive such as body painting live nude models based on inspiration from the African collection under the guidance of an artist. Recently Mediterranean Nights gave visitors a chance to spin, whirl, and twirl to the sounds of the drumming of an Egyptian tamboura dance.


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Meet Maria Lisella

No matter how many countries Maria Lisella has visited (62), this native New Yorker finds the world at her doorstep in amazing Queens where its residents speak 138 languages.

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