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 Pub & Restaurant 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. Gritty's Brew Pub is the perfect place to experience the ambience of Portland's Old Port. Their Fore Street location is right in the heart of the historic district. Pull up a chair at our copper-topped bar, strike up a conversation at their beer hall style tables, or take in street life on the cobblestones of Wharf Street from our basement Brewery Bar patio. Open seven days a week offering free parking, a sun-filled patio and a strong happy hour, MJ’s Wine Bar has become an essential Portland destination and favorite. 

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

Live Music, Local Musicians & Comedians

Enjoy live entertainment and the best-imported and local craft beers along with Maine's most extensive selection of single malt scotch, Irish and bourbon whiskey at Bull Feeney's. Head over the Porthole Restaurant & Pub where the locals hang out and listen to the undeniable sounds of Maine and smell the great sea air on our large water front deck. Andy’s Old Port Pub is a waterfront watering hole frequented by islanders, fishermen, music lovers and locals. Also along the Portland waterfront is Portland Lobster Company, where the music is live, the food is always fresh and delicious and the view is one of the best in town!

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