After a good meal in the Flying Star Café and a walk on Central Avenue we were ready for a night cap. There were a couple of bars on that stretch of road; one had a live band and therefore a cover charge, but the other, although it had a DJ playing records in one corner, was free to enter. The Blackbird Buvette seemed quite a dark and old-fashioned bar and on this warm evening it seemed a shame to sit inside, especially as the music would also have made conversation difficult, so we were pleased to see a table available on the pavement outside. The tables though are carefully roped off and to reach them you have to go into the bar, passing the bouncer who, like the server in the Flying Star, asked us for ID – we were ready for it this time!
We bought our drinks (a Sodbuster Pale Ale for Chris and a Jack Daniels for me) and grabbed the free table. We then passed a very pleasant half hour or so watching the late evening activity of Downtown – dog-walkers, late-night shoppers, sporty gym-goers, night-outters and a handful of late-working business people. As I mentioned in my Central Avenue tip, the whole scene felt much more urban than most US cities do, and we really enjoyed sitting there.
Dress Code: Very much a locals bar I would say, and a pretty casual one, unless things are any different at weekends when from the website it appears that they too have live music
Located in a beautifully renovated Downtown building, the Gorilla Tango Comedy Theater consists of 16 comedian/actors who perform Chicago style improve much like that seen on TV's "Whose Line is it Anyway?"
A member of the audience shouts out a theme or phrase and the talented performers go to work bringing it to hilarious life off the tops of their heads.
Most shows are suitable for older kids and teens as the humor is based more on smart comedy than shock or obscenities.
For something really different check out the Gorilla Tango Comedy Theater.
Dress Code: Casual
This area of Albuquerque (Downtown) is the best place to be on a Friday or Saturday night during the summer months. Sit on Maloney's patio and you'll be able to see most of what's happening on the 4th Street Mall. There are about 6 or 7 decent bars within blocks of each other. On a weekend night, expect to see hundreds busily jay-walking across Central. Also, security is very assuring; the Abq. Police Department has about 6 officers on horses at 4th and Central along with a mobile drunk tank for all the idiots! This section of Central is mostly a college hangout but has great opportunities for people-watching!
Dress Code: O-PM is the only bar/club that thinks that Albuquerque is a world-class destination for club-goers. They wouldn't let me or my friend in on our birthday because we were wearing white shoes. Avoid this place altogether-bunch of snobs! The doorman sarcastically told me that I could borrow his size 12's...I told him that I wear a 13! Albuquerque will always be a relaxed, casual dress type of place and O-PM needs to realize that. Oh yeah, it's one of the only places that charges a cover, too.
O wow! How can I describe it? I've never been into country music or been to place where they played old serenading songs. At 1st glance, it didn't like the place because I felt I am too young for that place (i'm 26 anyway). but as soon as the live band played the music, it's good. and i didn't feel like going back to the hotel but stay there all night. drink options are good though i just took margarita (1st time!) and also the food. see my face, how happy i was (wearing brown jacket)
Dress Code: no slippers
Downtown Albuquerque is the only place in Albuquerque if you're love club-hopping, drinking, socializing and chillaxing. There is a HUGE police prescence, though. They like to try and meet their quotas and bust bar-goers after closing time. In the summer, they're even on horseback at times. Be wary and cautious and of course, common sense, make sure you have a designated driver. It gets really crowded as Central Ave is only 2 lanes. One left and one right. So you're gonna be fighting for parking space and be in jams when the bars close. Try and leave half an hour before the bars close (2 PM) if you wanna avoid such headaches. It's more enjoyable in summer as the nights are warm or cool and you see flesh galore.
Dress Code: Some clubs, like One Up, will not let you wear a hat of any kind. Others like Lotus are more chillaxed about their dress codes so long as you don't come off the street without a shirt or shoes or pants ha ha. It's common sense.
This was probably one of the coolest pool hall/bar to hang out in downtown ABQ.
Hipsters, jocks and hippies unite...where we can all hang out together and still have a great time.
You literally do find a totally different array of people here, all just chillin and having a grand ol time.
The music is always good and the jukebox has plenty more to offer when you're bored of the guy with the suspenders constantly playing the 'mighty mighty bosstones'.
Decent array of drinks/beers and although you might have to wait for a table (red felt for a classier look) its well worth it because the atmosphere and people are all good.
Dress Code: There is no dress code here...just ask the guy in the mickey mouse outfit greeting everyone outside.
DON'T EVER GO TO THE COLLESEUM. It's the worst spot ever. I like hip hop but this place played the same played out song 4 times. And other songs I've never heard. It's the only place 18 and over so I went. It was terrble. I went back with a friend on a Friday and it was empty. And the *** at the door still charged me even though the place wasn't open. My friend tried to get here money back but they were such assholes. I later went down the street to a place called RAW. It was really great. They had dancers, good music, and a nice clean place. Colleseum was tacky, dirty, and *** music.
Dress Code: At Colleseum a hobo could walk in and dance but everywhere else you have to look decent.
Burt's has been a staple on the downtown scene for years now. You can catch a whole bunch of live bands, mostly alternative and a bit of everything in between. This is a pretty chill place and it's at it's most chillest in between 9:30 and 10:30 PM. This is before the crowds come in and the place gets bumper to bumper.
The inside is very much how a dive bar should look. It's fashioned after a surfer's paradise, with surfboards and some flags from around the world on the ceiling. There's some New Mexico Lobos (our home team) proudly display at the bar and the bathroom is surreal! Like a mix of urban trash can is the only way I can describe it.
If you're looking for a bit different night life then your typical hip-hop bar and want some alternative live music for your headspace, check this place out!
Dress Code: Chill and casual. This ain't a a fancy dress code bar or high cover charges. Just a simple place to meet friends and jam out to the live music. Come as you are!