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What kind of night do you want? 

It's the end of a busy week, and the weekend has finally arrived — it's time to go out. But with so many options in the Rochester area, it can be difficult to decide exactly where to go. Whether you want to let loose and dance or take some time to relax, there are plenty of options for a night out in the city.

If you can at least decide what kind of night you want to have, City Newspaper can help plan the rest. Here's our list of some of the ways to spend a night out in Rochester.

Rochester holds many interesting and fun ways to spend your evenings — far too many to list here — but we have chosen three to four locations to help introduce students to the options in the city and get them going. If your favorite spots aren't listed here, leave a comment on the story at


Sometimes, the best way to unwind after a demanding week is to grab friends and get moving. For those with happy feet, there are plenty of options, no matter what kind of music moves you.

Pearl Night Club (349 East Avenue) plays electronic and dance hits, catering to those who want a wild night out with friends. The club frequently brings in guest DJs, and is usually open to anyone 18 and over.

Tilt Nightclub & Ultralounge (444 Central Avenue) is another favorite for club-goers. Featuring 18 and over admission, cage dancers, drag shows, and hot body contests, there is plenty of fuel for many a crazy night.

On the more specialized end of the club spectrum, Vertex Night Club (169 North Chestnut Street) is home to Rochester's Goth and industrial dance scene. The club also hosts special theme nights, including videogame and cosplay events.

And if the club scene isn't for you, but you still want to dance, Tango Café Dance Studio (35 South Washington Street) provides a weekend opportunity to pick up a few new moves with its Friday Night Salsa Parties.

Pub night with friends

If dancing seems like too much effort, a good night might involve swapping stories with friends at a local pub. Keep in mind; you have to be 21 years old and older to drink. But the food and ambiance these establishments provide can make for a memorable night, even if you're just 18.

The Old Toad (277 Alexander Street) is as close as you can get to a real British pub stateside, featuring British food, beers, and, yes, even British staff brought in through a university exchange program.

Tap and Mallet (381 Gregory Street) provides a diverse menu featuring meatless options like vegetarian poutine and a "C.L.T." made with coconut bacon. For those of age, it boasts a wide variety of draft and bottled selections, filling page upon page of menu.

Catching the Big Game

Some weekends, watching a hyped playoff game is your only option for a night out.

No matter what game you're trying to watch, The Distillery (1142 Mount Hope Avenue, 3010 Winton Road South, 10 Square Drive, and 300 Paddy Creek Circle) will have you covered. Each of its four locations is packed with TVs allowing you to catch any game (or even two at once).

Jeremiah's Tavern (1104 Monroe Avenue) always has the night's biggest game on, and has been voted the home of Rochester's best wings in City's Best of Rochester competition each of the past two years — always a plus while watching sports.

Marshall Street (81 Marshall Street) is a popular place to catch sporting events as well as hit TV shows — the bar hosts viewing parties for new episodes of popular programs like The Walking Dead.

Late night eating

When late night hunger hits, you're going to want something to eat. Where better to spend a night than somewhere that offers great food?

Skylark Lounge (40 South Union Street) specializes in meatball dishes, allowing customers to choose the contents of their 'ball as well as the sauce that goes on top. And while meatless meatballs might seem like an oxymoron, vegetarian offerings are always available.

Dogtown (691 Monroe Avenue), while not a bar, is open late and serves some pretty creative hotdogs. Instead of a regular hotdog bun, you'll get your sausage served in a hollowed out piece of French bread.

Cure (50 Public Market Street) is housed within the Public Market and combines upscale cuisine with a selection of interesting cocktails. It's a more expensive option for a night out, but the quality of both food and drink can make for a special evening.

Checking out live music

Seeing live music is one of the best ways to spend a night out. Whether it's a favorite act or an exciting unknown artist, shows always make for fun nights.

The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Avenue) and Abilene (153 Liberty Pole Way) each bring in a mix of local and national talent. Accommodating a variety of music scenes, The Bug Jar gives you a chance to catch the next big thing on their way up — Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend, and Modest Mouse each played the venue before they broke out. Abilene presents rock, country, and folk artists almost every night of the week.;

The Main Street Armory (900 East Main Street), Montage Music Hall (50 Chestnut Street), and Water Street Music Hall (204 North Water Street) are larger venues that often host prominent national acts. Montage and Water Street usually bring in a variety of rock groups, while the Armory casts an impressively wide net, presenting artists of nearly every genre: Bassnectar, Kansas, and Migos will each take the stage this fall.;;

And when an act is just too big to fit in any other venue, the Blue Cross Arena (One War Memorial Square) can accommodate.

Cafes and caffeine

If you're in need of energy — whether it be to stay up late with friends or to cram for a Monday exam — Rochester is full of enticing, and sometimes experimental, coffeehouses. There really is no shortage of great coffee houses in Rochester — with several within the vicinity of each campus. As an introduction, we have chosen four shops that do interesting things every student should know about.

Lovin' Cup (300 Park Point Drive; near RIT) brings a little bit of everything with its Bistro and Brews. It serves coffee as well as beer, and routinely brings in musical acts. It can help with a conflicted group of friends, as everyone can get what they want. Boulder Coffee Company (100 Alexander Street) is also a crowd pleaser, pairing food and drink with open mic nights and live music.;

For serious (and adventurous) coffee lovers, Pour Coffee Parlor (23 Somerton Street) and Fuego Coffee Roasters (167 Liberty Pole Way) offer something a bit different. Each of the shops works closely with local farmers to ensure it serves the best beans possible. They each also go the extra mile while brewing their beverages, often using unconventional techniques. With drinks brewed for nearly 24 hours or created cold using liquid nitrogen, there's enough unique coffee to make for many a notable night with friends.;

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