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  • Bestselling historian Richard Brookhiser opines, “Night life in New Haven? This class of ’77 alum is astonished that there is any, apart from mugging.” Well, Rick, the mugging threat remains, but nightlife in New Haven certainly exists, in many different flavors. Here's a sampling...

    For the diviest of dive bars, check out Rudy’s Bar&Grill, where dim lighting glows eerily upon a brick interior engraved with graffiti. Order a basket of “frites” (double-fried potatoes) with your choice of sauces, swig back a beer, and drown your sorrows or celebrations.

    If pub-crawling is more your style, the luck of the Irish awaits you at Anna Liffey’s (17 Whitney Ave). At both an upstairs bar and a pub in the basement, Liffey’s serves favorites like fish and chips, Shepherd’s pie, and, of course, endless pints of Guinness (even a Guinness stew). It may be hard to crawl your way back out of the pub after throwing back a few, so consider staying upstairs on crowded nights. On Sundays, Liffey’s hosts a live Irish jam session from 4-7 pm.

    Newer hot spots around New Haven include BAR (pool tables and an on-site brewery), Firehouse 12 (nicknamed the “One-Stop Hub for Avant-Garde Jazz” by the New York Times), Café Nine (where Monday nights mean reggae and all the curried tofu jerky you can handle), Prime 16 (a highbrow burger and microbrew place), Sullivan’s on Chapel (if Liffey’s is too crowded, Sullivan’s and its “Irish nachos” will be happy to see you), and Geronimo, a new southwestern place with a deck out front warmed by tiki torches in cooler weather.

    If, for some strange reason, you get an urge to get covered in beer and dance like a frat boy, stop by Toad’s Place. To be fair, Toad’s claim to be “the place where legends play” does have some virtue: Billy Joel performed in 1980, U2 in ’80 and ’81, the Rolling Stones in ‘89, and Bob Dylan in 1990. Unfortunately, Toad’s attempts to ride out the glory of bygone decades have failed; 20 years later, you’re more likely to find third-rate cover bands than legends here.

    For a dose of the intellectual, don’t miss the world-class theater in this city. A number of hit Broadway musicals have premiered at the Shubert Theater, e.g. “OKLAHOMA!”, “South Pacific,” and The Sound of Music.” Over 20 plays went from Long Wharf Theater to become hits on Broadway or off-Broadway, including several Pulitzer recipients. Talented students at the Yale School of Drama rehearse and perform with prominent actors at the Yale Repertory Theater (aka “the Rep”), where ten productions have gone to Broadway, four have won Pulitzers, and nine won Tony®s. There is also the New Theater, the Little Theater, the Yale Cabaret, the Dramat, and the Off Broadway Theater at Yale – suffice to say, drama lovers will not lack for entertainment in the Have.

    Nor, for that matter, will most any other tourist – whatever your flavor, you’re sure to find it here.

    Alchemy Club and Cafe

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    223 College Street

    Hip and happenin'... read more

    Shubert Theater

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    247 College Street

    Quality next door... read more

    Yale Repertory Theatre

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    1120 Chapel Street
    Yale University

    Theatrical treasure... read more

    Connecticut Post 14 Cinema De Lux

    1201 Boston Post Road

    Movies galore... read more

    Wicked Wolf Tavern

    144 Temple Street

    Local Irish Pub... read more

    116 Crown

    116 Crown Street

    Good Spirits... read more

    Ball Park at Harbor Yard

    500 Main Street

    Home of the Bridgefort Bluefish... read more

    Treehouse Comedy

    464 Boston Post Road

    Comedy Club... read more

    Jackee's New Orleans Café

    745 State Street

    American & Cajun Restaurant & Café... read more

    Cine 1-2-3-4

    371 Middletown Avenue

    Movies Galore... read more


    20 West Lane

    Dining in the Olden Times... read more

    Connecticut Tennis Center

    45 Yale Avenue

    Ball Slamming Action... read more

    Criterion Cinemas New Haven

    86 Temple Street

    Entertainment at Your Service... read more

    Orchestra New England

    103 Whitney Avenue

    Together in Symphony... read more

    City-Wide Open Studios

    50 Orange Street
    Artspace & other venues

    Artists in Action!... read more

    Yale Bowl

    81 Central Avenue

    The Bulldogs... read more

    Abate Apizza and Restaurant

    129 Wooster Street

    Where Presidents Eat... read more

    Est Est Est

    1176 Chapel Street

    Pizza Pizza Pizza... read more

    Book Trader

    1140 Chapel Street

    Used books and cafe... read more

    Woolsey Hall

    500 College Street
    Yale University

    Performing Arts Center... read more
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