Rum Runners in Raleigh is a lively bar and danceclub located downtown in the Historic Market area and features dueling pianos, audience participation, drink specials and some wild times on the weekend and special event nights.
The dueling pianos live music is all done by requests with emphasis on rock n roll, country (at least in Raleigh)
The Full Bar in either room features HUGE 64oz "Fishbowls" that you can share with your entire table plus Frozen Drinks, an assortment of beers, shots, or just about any cocktail and all served by what they describe on their t-shirts as “The Staff That Rocks” the Triangle, and they have served over half a million people!
At any time, you can also enjoy the adjoining Dance Club, featuring a state of the art sound system, specialty lighting effects and a 25 foot bar which borders the dance floor.
Don't be surprised if you get caught up in the high energy of the dueling pianos and the sing-alongs or the audience participation on stage which can be mild to wild.
Dress Code: Everything from casual dress to preppy to upscale can be seen in Rum Runners and dressing to impress can never go wrong.
Mosaic is a hard-to-find Moroccan Wine Lounge at the intersection of W. Jones St. and Glenwood South. There's a big patio out back and inside has 2 rooms- 1 with a bar and dance floor, and then an upstairs lounge room. There's plenty of seating everywhere, with comfortable sofas and cafe tables. On the weekdays, it's a quiet, romantic place to take a date. On the weekends, they have all sorts of live stuff going on- DJ's playing house and world music, Belly dancers, Samba Bands, Drummers, etc. For anyone looking for something different, this is a great place to go!
Dress Code: No sneakers, hats, or shorts.
The Hibernian is my favorite place to go grab a beer downtown. It is an Irish pub, but unlike most, it is owned and operated by an Irishman. Inside, the dark wood bar and fireplace make for a cozy atmosphere. On warm nights, the picnic tables out front are great for people watching and socializing. The bartenders are friendly and will make you feel like a regular on your first visit.
The scene itself is casual, full of folks of all ages and professions. You will see everyone from local construction guys to Professional hockey (NHL) players enjoying their favorite pint. On Monday nights there is a Pub Quiz with a $100 prize. Thursday-Saturday nights it tends to be packed with people warming up to hit the Glenwood South clubs. On Sunday they have a nice brunch and local musicians get together to play Irish folk music.
An added bonus is unlike most Bars in Raleigh, they have a seperate smoke free room with a bar and tables.
Dress Code: Casual, Come as you are.
$5 cover that includes here, Bogarts, and the Red Room.
The booths have individual TV's for game day, but conversations are pretty difficult even far from the dance floor. The dance floor is small and a bit slow to pick up, but generally fills up within a couple of hours.
A $5 cover gets you into Bogarts, High Five, and Red Room (I think). There's dancing and drinking all night with a live band. (at least on Saturday nights). The fruit-infused martinis are supposed to be really good, but they are too sweet and expensive ($8.50) for my taste. There are places to sit in booths and at the bar, and the dance floor gets pretty packed.
Also offers a Sunday brunch, but I've never had it.
An Irish bar in both downtown Raleigh and in Cary, it's a pretty hopping place at night on the weekends. Grab some beer and sit outside on the benches to talk to your friends and to the people walking by. It's a very laid back place with no cover.
Dress Code: casual
Thursday nights are the best nights to go for salsa. They offer OK free lessons from 8-9 (usually later because they wait for a crowd) and most of the salsa is played early in the night. They play too much bachata and reggaeton for my taste, but it's probably the best place to go for Latin dancing in Raleigh. (there's actually a much better place in Morrisville) Girls should definitely go with a buddy because the guys can get a bit creepy.
Thursday nights are also half-priced sangria and paella, both of which are yummy. I haven't had the tapas there, but it's supposed to be pretty good.
Another bonus is that there's no cover for girls on Thursday nights and it's 18 and up, rather than 21 for that night, and guys don't have to pay until 10pm.
My brother calls this a vomit bar. You know, one of the places where people go right after they turn 21 and are just getting used to handling their alcohol in public? Yeah. Most people I know have an embarrassing Rumrunners story, but I suppose it's a rite of passage.
They have two piano players who play sing your requests and the whole bar sings along. If it's your birthday, graduation, bachelorette party, whatever, they'll get you up on stage to sing along and do a stupid dance.
Wednesday night is $1.25 well night, so all the cheap mixed drinks are even cheaper. Drink up!
This is one of my favorite bars in Raleigh. Monday nights are pint night and most drafts are $2.50; other nights have $2.50 specials on select beers. It's a great place to have a few beers with someone after work because of the relaxed atmosphere. It's especially great in warmer weather, when you can take advantage of their outdoor seating. Tuesday nights are trivia nights at 7 and 9:30 and can be pretty cool. They used to serve free hot food with it, but I'm not sure if that still happens.
Also, because I can't keep beers straight, one of the things I like the best about this bar is that you can get a sample shot before committing to a whole pint... and there are a lot of beers to choose from - 80 on tap and more in the bottle! One of the things they're known for is the UFO club. For $14 bucks, you get a free t-shirt and the opportunity to have your name and quote on a saucer on the wall. All you have to do is drink 200 different beers!
I haven't eaten there, but I've heard their food is really good. Also, you can reserve the back room for private parties.
Dress Code: casual
Nice place to sit and relax with a cold beer. This place is right across the street from NC State University so it tends to draw a lot of college students. The drinks and food here are very good. My personal favorite is the 1/2 pound East Village burger with a $1.50 Coors light draft beer.
Dress Code: NO UNC or Duke stuff. This bar is literally across the street from NC State.
This place plays more country music than anyplace in Raleigh. Fun place to hang out at but not really my cup of tea. Great beer specials and mechanical bull riding......maybe a bad combination. Thursday night is bikini bull riding night.
This place is great to see live music on Friday or Saturday nights. They charge a $5 cover charge. With this cover charge you are able to get into the Red Room and Hi5's. They do enforce a dress code. Overall a good place to hang out. Wide selection of mixed drinks. Thursday night the martinis are half priced.
Dress Code: NO HATS!!!
Always a safe bet on Friday or Saturday night. Great cover bands. Bartenders are excellent. $5 cover charge on Friday and Saturday nights. Thursday night is 80's night. One of my favorite places in Raleigh to party.
Dress Code: dress how you want very relaxed place
If you're college age or just love hanging with them, than the block with Jillians on it is the place to be.
Jillians is a chain that has a dance club, pool hall, restaurant, bar, arcade, and volleyball court all mixed into one huge building for just one cover charge. The dance floor gets crowded late at night, so if you need some air go hang out in the pool hall area for a while.
Flying Saucer is right around the corner. They have tons of draft selections (100, I think) and specials all the time such as $2.50 drafts on Monday nights. Go to the end of the bar to the right to get to the back room with cushy chairs and a pool table. Especially if you're out there early, it's usually not as crowded.
I've found both of these places to be hopping on weekends, but bear in mind with that comes very busy staff and bartenders, so it may take a while to get your food/drinks. I recommend ordering from the bars directly versus waiting for the occasional waitress to come around.
Parking is terrible, no deck nearby. Get there early, or be prepared to walk a ways in a poorly light, not so-safe feeling part of town. The Raleigh Entertainment Trolley does drop off and pick up here for free, so it might be worth parking elsewhere and riding the trolley in (verify locations and times of it first).
Dress Code: None that I know of. Here you will see all types of outfits, from jeans and t-shirts to button down shirts and chinos to hoochie-mama clothes.
The Southern part of Glenwood Avenue in downtown Raleigh is the best area to hang out if you don't want to party with a bunch of college kids. There's a handful of restaurants, clubs, and coffee shops in the strip between Peace Street and Hillsborough Street with great night hours, all within walking distance of each other.
A lot of the restaurants stay open late, and the bars stay open even later. Several of the restaurants such as Bogarts and Hi Five convert into the night-club scene after 10ish. Those two and the Red Room are under the same cover charge, so allows you some club hopping for cheap. If you're looking for a bar scene, try Stool Pigeons (to the left of Hard Times Cafe, door is marked but not much else is).
Plenty of people strutting their stuff wandering between the businesses. There's usually a hot dog cart that opens up around 11 p.m. until 2 a.m. that always has a line on the weekends.
Parking is limited, I'd suggest using one of the parking decks. If you're out late enough, they're usually free. Else be prepared to drive the blocks a few times to find a space.
Dress Code: No dress code that I'm aware of. Typically in this area people aren't wearning ripped jeans and t-shirts, but I don't think there's an actual rule about it.