Nightclubs, Live Music, Old Port Bars & Pubs

Portland's Old Port & "Uptown"

Whether you’re checking out the live music scene, dancing the night away on a neon-lit club floor, or performing karaoke at a cozy neighborhood pub, Portland’s nightlife combines the energy and accessibility of the big city with the congeniality of a small-town community.

Visitors can choose between the cobblestone streets of the Old Port, dancing through the night at clubs that line these Europeanesque byways, or take a stroll to what is affectionately referred to as "Uptown” by the locals. While the Old Port offers waterfront bars, such as Ri Ra's Irish Restaurant & Pub where visitors can drink a beer while observing lobstermen surveying their catches, "Uptown" Portland offers a myriad of venues in which to catch a local band or attend a themed party. This is undeniably a more artsy part of town, whereas the Old Port is plain entertainment and energy. "Uptown" Portland mingles dance clubs and concerts with artist talks, community events, film screenings, and theater events; the Old Port invites visitors to drink, dance and celebrate.

Nightclubs, Bars & Galleries

A short stroll from the Eastland takes visitors to the Uptown scene – artsy bars with a more urban feel, a variety of music and art venues and gallery openings. At the Dogfish Bar & Grille, the live music is mostly acoustic, blues and jazz and the atmosphere is casual and laid-back. Try Local 188’s lounge for dinner and drinks; art lines the walls and old records and record-players invite visitors to wax nostalgic. Local 188, or "local” as it is affectionately referred to by the, well, locals, epitomizes the rare character of this city’s nightlife: there is small-town community here but the décor, the food, the liveliness, hint at big-city life and a worldliness that is unmistakably urban yet authentically Portland’s.

Find a full list of Arts & Entertainment and Bars, Pubs & Microbreweries.

Live Music, Local Musicians & Comedians

Local talent is ripe in Portland; Mainer’s that have hit the national scene include musicians like Jason Spooner, a multi-award winning New England-based songwriter, and Pete Kilpatrick who was voted Maine’s best local act. One of the hottest and most sought-after comedians in the country, Bob Marley, is always a good laugh.


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Portland, Maine
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