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Top Ten Nightlife Hotspots in Manchester NH

manchesterBy: Justess Jacobson – January, 2015

I turned 21 in April, and of course, I went to every nightclub I could in Manchester even if I had no interest in going. Some were way better than others, and some I won’t even talk about during this article because some places were just awful. The best part of the Manchester nightlife scene is there something for everyone. There are 18+ places, country clubs, gay clubs, just places to hang out, there is something for every person’s hobbies and interests.

10. I am going to start this top ten with a club that shut down a few weeks ago. Had it been open, this one would have been my top club. The “313” club was a gay club that changed it’s name in the middle of 2014 to “PARADIGM CLUB” to showcase it’s new style and lounge room.

The 313 was known for it’s drag show weekends, FANTASTIC drinks and staff, and it’s awesome karaoke on Thursday nights. Even though it was slow on Thursdays, it was awesome feeling comfortable on stage. I always felt welcome, and most of all safe. I never feared a spiked drink, or someone trying to force themselves on me in the parking lot. It’s been closed for a few weeks and I already miss it. *sigh*

9. JEWEL NIGHTCLUB. Where Jewel is located makes it great for a night of club and bar hopping. However, it’s had 5 different owners in the past 6 years. What does that say? I had the hardest time going to this club after all the horror stories I heard. It’s great if you want to dress a little provocative, dance and grind with strangers, but there was just too much going on. I know two people who felt drugged when they went, and another friend who had her wallet stolen; overall I was not impressed. Yes, they bring in dancers from Boston, but that really doesn’t make it any better. The music is always top forty mixes that should have just been left alone. I obviously am not a fan, but somehow there is always a line to get in the door.

8. MCGRAVEY’S NIGHT PUB. This place can be out of control sometimes, but for an extroverted person like myself I did not mind at all. I wouldn’t do karaoke there (that takes place on Friday nights), but I don’t mind watching other people do it. The drinks there were okay. Some were better than others, and the prices for them were not outrageous. The only reason it got so low on the list is the crowd can sometimes be intimidating, and almost frightening.

7. LIQUID. This place goes out of business for two weeks, then re-opens. They make improvements, and try to make the place better. All in all, it normally just stays the same; it’s a great place if you’re looking to hook up with some sleaze ball who is probably a felon, or married. If you want to attract attention to yourself, and you’re going out just to get drunk and some action, this is a great place! You can just sit on the couches, listen to music, and get to know everyone in there. It ranked on my list because the music can often times be great, and they sometimes have live bands that are pretty good for the area. Though I have only been once, I have a few friends that enjoy the music scene there.

6. SOCIAL 24. It is just a place with a bunch of couches, some records, a record machine, and a hipster cafe. If you’re looking for a “quieter” night out, this is one of the better places. Not quite a club or bar, but still a place to grab a beer or coffee, and chill with some great music. There is even karaoke on different days to throw in some extra fun. I was there for about 5 minutes when I realized it wasn’t *my* scene, but, for a quieter person who wants to get out and socialize, it’s a cute little place.

5. JADE DRAGON. Located on Elm Street in the heart of the nightlife, and is known for it’s night of fun and drinking. It’s a Chinese food place with an entertainment stage where you can do karaoke, hear a local DJ or singer, or just go to have a mai-tai or four. Prices are decent, and it’s got a great atmosphere.

4. MURPHY’S TAPROOM. You have not had a nightlife experience unless you have been to Murphy’s on a warm summer night. They have a sports bar inside with a few TVs to watch the game and have a beer, but they also have an outside deck that is open during the summer that overlooks the busy streets of the city, and live bands nearly every night during the summer. Yes, live bands almost every night of the week. I used to go grab a drink with a few friends from college after class and was rarely disappointed in the entertainment. The wait staff was great, food was great, and overall I don’t think I have had a bad time there! This is a great place anytime during the year, but it’s at it’s best in the summer.

3. SPARE TIME BOWLING ALLEY. Yes, I know, bowling alley as a nightlife? How can that be? Well, the bowling alley is not only a fun place to be on weekend nights as they have a KILLER glow bowling party (18+) and honestly, was a BLAST! I have gone quite a few times when I was younger with older friends, and we all had a great time. Went there when I was under 21, and they give you a bracelet saying you can’t drink, (now I am 21, so I don’t have the bracelet of shame) and you can just have a great, safe, fun time with your friends who can drink. Throughout the week you can have adult leagues that are an actual fun time (I have been on a league for a few years myself). Thursdays there is karaoke, which is just a great time with the regulars; there are poker tournaments, and live bands. Did I mention they have the best drinks in town? If you’re looking for a great time, check out what’s happening at the bowling alley!

2. DRYNK. Drynk is a great place to go. A bit on the pricey side for small drinks, but it is a lot of fun. There is a huge dance floor, and an outside dance floor for some outside fun. They give away fun prizes including cruises, and they have girls night once a month. They have a DJ to play some top 40 hits, or a live band doing covers and original. It is right next door to Club Manchvegas, which makes for a great night of going back and forth. Drynk is a great place to go for an all around good time, and if you are forced into being the DD, it’s great for just people watching.

1. The number one nightlife spot in Manchester is… CLUB MANCHVEGAS. This was my first “club” scene place, and I enjoy going there! The people are super friendly, and there is someone always dancing. They have a mechanical bull that is just hilarious to watch your friends fall on. It’s a bit small in there but after two drinks, you won’t notice how small it is. Friday nights are country nights (18+) and they have a DJ play all the hot country hits and let me tell you, I did not stop having a great time. They have an 16+ night on Sundays in the summer, and on Sunday nights that don’t have school the next day. Saturday nights are a more mature scene with a great group of people, and an infectiously happy atmosphere. If you haven’t been here, I suggest you go on a Friday night, and bring your cowboy hat!

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ValleyPatriot

The Valley Patriot is a free monthly journal of news, commentary, and events, serving Northern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire.

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