Alchemy is an ultra-lounge and nightclub under on roof. This offers you the best of both worlds as there is a more relaxed area to have a drink and chat as well a separate club which plays Hip Hop, House, Salsa, Merengue, Reggaeton and even Samba music on Brazilian nights.
Dress Code: No Boots
No Hats or Headgear of any kind
No Baggy Clothing
No Long Shirts
No White Tee Shirts
No Athletic Wear
No Tank Tops
No Ripped/Torn Clothing
The following are good clubbing places- there are not too many good ones in CT:
1) Bottega in New Haven is fun and cheap (5.00) and safe - mix of music and good atmosphere
2) Bar in New Haven is good for drinks and food- the club part at the back is HORRID
3) Zinc in New Haven is great for atmosphere, martinis (7.00).
4) Mohegan Sun Casino's club is realyl good - i was so shocked it was so great. Go early, wander the casino, make sure you go to the waterfall bar for a drink and then hit the club - great fun!
5) The Blue Pearl (New Haven) is a swanky quiet cocktail bar with fondue.
6) The Playwright - good for fun and reg drinks. Young college crowd.
Dress Code: Smart Casual
This is one of the most relaxing places to hang out. Miya's is not like any japanese restaurant that exists. I love to go there late in the evening, put tunes into the jukebox that plays for free and enjoy the best homemade beers and sakes I have EVER had. Miya's has sakes made with wild flowers; sumac berries; ginger and lemong rass and an fantastic beer that has green tea as a base. On weekends the kitchen at Miya's doesn't close till 12:00 midnight so I like to have a late night snacks of sushi. And frankly, the best sushi I have ever had too. Gotta go, to put on another tune!
Dress Code: wear whatever you want - this place is thoroughly unpretentious. expect to be amazed.
The Playwright is an Irish Pub/Restaurant by day and club by night. My friends and I have been every time I come up to visit. They have a decent sized dance floor (where the dj plays usually hiphop/techno type stuff) and bar in the back of the building and def plenty of places to sit and just have a drink if that's more your style though it does get busy as the night goes on. There is also a decent sized bar in the front. (And if you happen to get there early and the restaurant is still serving I highly recommend getting one fo their Fabulous desserts!!!)
This will be opinionated. No offense meant.
In my recent visits (past 3 years or so) I have been noticing that bars in downtown New Haven have been increasing at a bizarrely rapid rate. Not only that, but they are not ordinary bars. They are weird, they have themes - like the Playwright, a new bar (not to be confused w/ the pub on Whitney Ave. in Hamden) that imported an entire church to decorate the inside of its cavernous space - not in a good way. Or sci-fi cafe, with some weird, futuristic alien theme.
What's worse - the crowd is equally weird. For instance, I brought a bunch of my college girlfriends out for the night in New Haven a year or two ago. Two were from Massapequa - that's Long Island people - home of Joey Buttafuco. Anyway, they informed me that though they had been frequenting Massapequa bars for quite a long time, New Haven bars beat them in cheesiness by sheer number of cheap tube tops, fake boobs, bad tans, and plastic platform shoes.
I avoid these bars with all the strength I can muster. They're almost intolerable - and I'm an pretty tolerant, open-minded person who can find humor in tons of bizarre things.
Places that don't completely suck:
Bar (good beer)
Archie Moore's (good wings and happy hour)
Neat Lounge (good martinis but annoying people).
Where everybody knows your name: Christopher Martin's
Dress Code: If you want to fit in, dress like you shop at Forever 21 or some equally offensive manner. Also seek a tanning bed and a bad boob job as soon as possible.
At the non-offensive places, dress like yourself.
Crown Street is the locus of New Haven's growing club scene. While the other places go for flash, neon, and gimmicks, BAR is more down to earth and attracts a classier crowd: artsies, yuppies, and college kids, with none of those club dudes in rayon and gold chains. It's got a warehouse look to it, and if this building wasn't a fire station at one time, then they certainly fooled me. BAR has something for everyone. They serve great pizza, brew their own beer, have several different rooms, including a dance club in the back that regularly features good DJs and professional dancers for added sexiness.
Dress Code: Very casual.
located just north of town hall and very popular with the locals, Eli's on Whitney is a great place for dinner and meeting friends. They also have live bands.
Dress Code: No dress code. The crowd ranges from businessmen to college students to locals. Very laid back, casual and a great place for happy hour.
Humphrey's East Restaurant.
Another good, old style neighborhood bar. Great happy hour, excellent food and live music. It gets crowded, and local radio stations often broadcast from here. A fun place.
Dress Code: Casual.
JP Dempsey's is another local, neighborhood place. They also serve excellent food, and they have barrels of peanuts lying around and you throw the shells right on the floor. I love a place like that!!!!
They have bands on weekend nights, it is a very nice, old style neighborhood bar, that's the best way I can describe it. It gets crowded on weekends.
Dress Code: Nice and neat. Nothing overly fancy.
The Rolling Stones rehearsed for their Steel Wheels tour in Washington, CT, and one night they showed up unannounced and played a gig here at Toad's.
Toad's is also a nightclub (my friend John Thornberg was DJ for a long time)on weekends, during the week local bands play here. I've seen acts ranging from Weird Al Yankovic to Living Colour here!
Dress Code: Not formal, but not sloppy. Club nights you may want to dress up a little bit more, but the place itself is kinda dirty and old.
A New Haven landmark is Archie Moore's on Willow St. This place has been around since 1898, and it has the old fashioned, well worn wooden floors. It was named after the famous boxer.
An excellent neighborhood place, Archie's puts out free buffalo chicken wings at happy hour. It's also a restaurant as well, as they have lunch and dinner. The burgers and sandwiches are a favorite.
We went to New Haven from Newington just to go to this pub.
Good Food. Good Music. Good Craic.
Not much more I can say.
Dress Code: Casual