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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.

Recommended for Newark's Best Nightlife because: We all need a little tropical flavor in our metropolitan lives especially if you are talking Brazilian samba, Latin and American music.

Maria's expert tip: Two beautiful words for designated drivers: free parking.

Read more about Rio Lounge →




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.

Recommended for Newark's Best Nightlife because: This is a very happening venue for an after-show drink, and is just one of the big players in Newark's revival.

Maria's expert tip: Super conveniently located across from the Prudential Center in the RockPlaza Lofts complex. Home of the 5-hour, $5 Happy Hour from 2-7PM on Football Sundays.

Read more about Redds Biergarten →




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.

Recommended for Newark's Best Nightlife because: A Caribbean nightclub in New Jersey that brings the heat during the colder months.

Courtney's expert tip: This club can be booked for wedding receptions or an epic birthday party.

Read more about Eclipse Night Club →


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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.

Recommended for Newark's Best Nightlife because: 3/4 of a pound of meat and a delicious IPA - you can have a worse evening than that.

Maria's expert tip: Even though this won't hold a candle to the burger, the pickles here are also quite delicious.

Read more about Krug's Tavern →




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.

Recommended for Newark's Best Nightlife because: Burlesque, hot wings and bacon - not normally things that go together, but Hell's Kitchen Lounge proves they do.

Maria's expert tip: This is just a short walk from the train station, in case you are worried about your return home.

Read more about Hell's Kitchen Lounge →




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.

Recommended for Newark's Best Nightlife because: By focusing on a different topic or theme, Late Thursdays generates evenings of exploration and socializing for adults.

Maria's expert tip: With free admission starting at 5pm, monthly Late Thursdays gives visitors a sense of a private viewing.

Read more about Newark Museum →




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.

Recommended for Newark's Best Nightlife because: Three reasons: headliner entertainment, the tapas, and the fully stocked bar with more than 100 types of wine and eight microbrews.

Maria's expert tip: Arrive during happy hour to pay half for tapas. Other nights do make reservations.

Read more about Mompou Tapas Wine Bar and Lounge →




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.

Recommended for Newark's Best Nightlife because: Barcade collaborates with small brewers creating some of the most innovative brews made in small batches ready for the tasting.

Maria's expert tip: Happy Hour is a good time to taste those fancy brews from Monday through Friday, 3-7PM; college Happy Hour is 9PM-midnight.

Read more about Barcade-Newark →




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.

Recommended for Newark's Best Nightlife because: A unique gem with classic jazz and comforting Creole dishes.

Maria's expert tip: There is no drink menu, but they do have a full bar.

Read more about The Priory (Jazz Club) →




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.

Recommended for Newark's Best Nightlife because: QXT has been pleasing fans for more than 25 years playing the sounds you want to hear.

Maria's expert tip: Bring cash as the ATM is notoriously fickle. Besides the main dance floor, check out Area 51 and The Crypt.

Read more about QXT's Night Club →


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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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