Local Rhody: Hottest Places to Go This Weekend (and the next…and the next…)

FRIDAY is here and for the majority of us, this means a long weekend with enough time to go out at least twice and regret it on Monday. Just kidding… But really, though. Thank you Presidents, past and present, for giving us at least ONE positive thing to look forward to each year (and that’s a long weekend, baby).

This pumped-up, pre-weekend post is brought to you as a reader request from a Twitter follower that goes by the name of Tyler (or her alter ego @blobtyler) from Rhode Island. She reached out to us in desperation: She never knows where to go out on weekends in this small state! Well, Tyler: you’ve come to the right place. Thankfully, between the three of us (and some amazing fan input…which we LOVE), we’ve cooked up a little list just for you (and anyone else looking to go out on the town in Lil’ Rhody)!

Erika, Jenna, and I compiled our list of favorite hot spots around Rhode Island and Southern New England to share with you all. They vary from hole-in-the-wall dive bar to V.I.P baller, bottle-poppin’ clubs. To be fair, I’ve organized the list alphabetically, since there is really no way to rate all of these places from best to worst. Take a look at our list, your fan fave might be thrown in the mix, as well. 🙂

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Brick Alley Pub & Restaurant: Newport, RI.  This would be good for a low-key lunch/dinner with your girlfriends (or even your boyfriend).  Brick Alley is right in downtown Newport so within walking distance of shopping and the waterfront.  A perfect place to stop for dinner and drinks after a day in Newport.  Oh, and speaking of Newport this is my favorite place to go after the St. Patty’s Day Parade! Get there early though because it’s usually about an hour (or more) wait to even get in. ~Jenna (Erika adds: Not everyone knows that there’s a full bar and small tables upstairs! If there’s a long wait, you can head upstairs to get some drinks and may even luck out with finding a table for the night).

Centro Martini Bar: East Greenwich, RI. The perfect place to start your night out with a group of girlfriends! Order small plates and (relatively inexpensive given the taste factor) fancy drinks before this place gets hopping like a regular bar by 10:30-11 p.m. It’s chic, with blue lighting and fun tables, and the drinks are absolutely delicious! (See left: My roommate and I cheering to some great martinis.) ~Erika

City Side at Riverfalls: Woonsocket, RI. This hidden gem may be located in a fairly random location, but don’t let that fool you. Every Thursday, City Side offers a half-price night, where all drinks and entry fees are super cheap. You can also get a weekend pass that allows you to come back the next two nights: for free! The atmosphere is laid back and it’s perfect for a night where you’d rather not go all out, but still want to have a great time (especially on a budget)! Each week, there is a different live band playing everything from covers of your favorite rock, pop, and even rap music. (My personal fave is Project DCQ. Check out a friend and I dancing this past summer at right.) ~Brittni

Fat Belly’s Pub: Coventry, East Greenwich, Providence, Wakefield, Goddard Park, Warwick Mall, RI. As you can see, this Irish-inspired restaurant and pub is located all over the place, giving you a ton of options, no matter where you live. This is a great place to go during the week for a low-key couple of beers at the bar or on weekends if you want to listen to some awesome live music (Saturday nights at all locations). On their website, you can get a more in depth description of the nightly events at each Fat Belly’s spot! ~Brittni

KartaBar Restaurant and Lounge: Providence, RI.  It’s fairly small but it has a great atmosphere. It is very sophisticated without being too stiff.  I especially love it in the summer when they open the doors and you get to sit outside.  The sangria is delicious and the food is hard to beat.  Very reasonable prices and it never seems crowded because of the intimate setting. (This spot was also recommended by Ashley B. on Facebook!) ~Jenna

Mardi Gras: Cranston, RI. Four dance clubs and lots of bars in one – take your pick! (It’s called a multi-club for a reason) There’s Johnny Bahama’s, the Caribbean themed bar, complete with fresh sangria. Monkey Bar has a huge dance floor and plays your favorite hip-hop and dance music every weekend. (FYI… Thursday nights are Latin night at the Monkey Bar). Next, there’s the Diamond Rodeo, with live country music every Friday… And finally… JR’s Bourbon Street Rock House, with rock music (of course) and live cover bands… Some of the best tribute bands that I’ve heard in the area. ~Erika

Point Street Dueling Pianos: Providence, RI.  They call themselves a “rock and roll” piano bar.  Think of it like a classy, funny, laid-back concert (yes, you can have all of those things in one place).  I love it because there’s nothing like it in Rhode Island (as far as I know anyways).  They have shows Tuesday-Saturday starting at 8:00.  Chances are you and your friends haven’t been here yet…it only opened early last month. ~Jenna

Shrine: MGM Grand at Foxwoods OR Ultra 88: Mohegan Sun Casino. I grouped these two together for a couple reasons. The main reason being that they are both great ideas if you are looking for a night or two away (there are a plethora of hotels to choose from at these two different casinos) and/or you want to celebrate a very special occasion (birthday, anniversary, being alive, etc). While the price tag might be a little much for most of us on a post-grad budget (the Boston Bruins celebrated their 2011 Stanley Cup win at Shrine, spending a mere $156,679.74), it can be easily reduced if you go with a bunch of friends and split the costs. I’ve celebrated three different 21st birthdays at these spots, and they all ended with some pretty EPIC stories (think: lost and barefoot, extreme wheelchair races, and late-night casino meals at 4 a.m.), so it’s definitely worth a visit at least once a year! (My best friend’s 21st birthday at Ultra 88 at left.) ~Brittni

Snookers: Providence, RI. With absolutely no relation to Snooki, this sports restaurant/bar is one of my personal favorites. I try to get to Snookers at least once a month (a common location for dates with my best friend, Lauren) to enjoy their Buffalo Chicken Nachos and their adorable/HUGE drink specials. They are reasonably priced, cater to almost any crowd, and probably have the coolest bathrooms that I’ve ever seen in my entire life. You have to see them to understand. Try a “Love Story” when you go, and you will not be disappointed (The gorgeous red drink at right). ~Brittni

Studio 3: Newport, RI. Studio 3 is the nightclub located right above One Pelham East bar on the main drag in downtown Newport. The two separate bars make getting drinks quick and the dance floor is HUGE. Great DJ’s are always spinning on both Friday and Saturday nights… and if you’re feeling adventurous, get up and dance on the elevated catwalks! I’ve never had a bad time at Studio 3 and I never have to pay a fortune like some places in Newport might require. ~Erika

Union Station Brewery: Providence, RI. If you’re a beer lover like me, you NEED to try Union Station. As you all probably know by now, I have a hard time dealing with anything that isn’t Bud Light, but this spot changed my life. They brew all of their own beer (and there is no Bud Light on the menu) so you can try some amazingly delicious beer that was made right on location. My personal favorites include the Providence Pale Ale and the White Ale…but they offer a little less than 10 different brews each night. Break out of your usual drink mold (I did!) and try this local gem. Definitely worth it. ~Brittni

The View Lounge: Providence, RI. There are so many clubs to pick from in Providence, but where can you be guaranteed a great time, and feel like the million bucks that you are: The View! If you go in the summer, you can enjoy the outdoor bars, decks, and patios located right on Waterplace Park. There’s always a good DJ spinning the best techno/pop/hip-hop hits and remixes at this club. This is one of the classier clubs in Providence (coming from three very non-club kind of girls) and we love it. Brittni has encountered celebrities there on two separate occasions (once she drank out of T-Pain’s glass from across the bar and a second time, her 22nd birthday, she ran into him again but this time he was partying with Chris Brown, see left!) Check out this club for a guaranteed-star-studded night out. ~Erika (and cosigned by Brittni :))

Wicked Good Bar and Grille: Twin River Casino, Lincoln, RI.  Sports fan?  This is a fun place to get some delicious food and big pitchers of beer.  Not a fan of sports or beer?  Well, you’re probably friends with (or dating) people that are and this makes you seem like a good sport for going there (but really, you’re just in it for the food).  Wednesdays is Sport Trivia night (because what else are you doing on a Wednesday?) and there are always games playing on their dozens of televisions around the bar.  Oh, and the sports-themed decor is pretty cute too. ~Jenna (also cosigned by resident Sports bar lover, Brittni)

Did you see all of your go-to spots on this list? If not, let us know where else we should try. If research includes drinking and/or hanging out with some awesome people at a great new location, count me in! (And I know Erika and Jenna wouldn’t mind so much, either ;))

Harass us at @20sTweet or on our Facebook page, we love hearing from you all. Tyler did, and look what happened!

~B

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