Category Archives: Nightlife

Beirut’s B018 Night Club Among the 25 Clubs You Need to Visit Before You Die

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Picture taken from DesignHome

Lebanon’s legendary club B018 has been located in Karantina since 1998 and still attracts crowds every weekend and on Thursdays mainly when the awesome 80′s night takes place. It was listed on InTheMix‘s top 25 clubs to visit before you die as everything is special about this place; the location, the architecture, the concept, the music, the people and the ambiance.

Here’s my [review] on the 80′s night.

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BO18 is perhaps one of the most ambitious and conceptually unique venues worldwide. Located in Karantina (a semi-industrial zone in the northeast of Lebanon’s capital city Beirut), which was the home of a Palestinian refugee camp that housed up to 20,000 evacuees during the Lebanese Civil War, B018 started as a way to use music as a form of therapy to ease the stress of wartime life.

Changing locations over the years, the current home in Karantina was chosen in 1998, and the club was designed in such a way as to reflect its location, paying tribute to those lost in the war. Aside from being sunk into the ground like a communal grave (or more light-heartedly, a bomb shelter), the club also features tables shaped like coffins and war memorabilia all over the walls.

But it’s not all doom-and-gloom: a retractable roof allows for revellers to dance under the starry Beirut night sky, and carefully placed mirrors reflect the city’s lights onto the dancefloor. Add in a top-notch sound-system, a friendly, open-minded and liberal crowd, and high calibre guests such as Hernan Cattaneo, James Zabiela and Troy Pierce, and you have the fiercely unique BO18. As Danny Howells puts it, it’s “one of the absolute best clubs in the world”.

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Beirut At Night

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[YouTube]

I don’t know why this short movie brought back so many awesome memories of partying in Beirut. I remembered when I used to go to Rai, 37 degrees, Pacifico, Barracuda, Hole in the wall and other great places in Monot. I remembered when nightlife was booming in Beirut and Buddha Bar was the place to be. It also brought me back to Element at Sodeco and the amazing live concerts they used to project on a huge screen after midnight. I remembered how Gemmayze started with a couple of pubs and nights then became the hottest street in Beirut. Treesome, Barbu, Torino Express, Cactus, Myu, Kayan, Joe Peña’s, El Gardel and Alcazar are some of the pubs and nights where I spent countless hours drinking and dancing till dawn. I remember the nights at Kahwit el 2zez and how I used to park on Charles Malek’s avenue and walk all the way down (and then back up) the St Nicolas stairs. I also remembered the very late night stops at B018 and the endless snacks at Zaatar W Zeit, B2B back when it was still good (Picasso yum!) or McDonald’s for some little delicious plain cheese burgers, or some hotdogs outside Basement.

Many things have changed in Lebanon but Beirut’s nightlife is still the best.

Free Taxis on New Year’s Eve In Beirut

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The Lebanese Ministry of Interior and the Union of Owners of Private Taxis in Lebanon are launching an initiative to prevent people from driving under the influence of alcohol. The owners of establishments that offer alcohol should prevent their customers from driving drunk and call center traffic management in Lebanon on 1720, who in return will send a taxi to the designated place. [Source]

Check out the [awareness campaign] the Ministry of Interior has launched recently.

O1NE Beirut Opening Postponed To December 25

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How O1NE Beirut will look like from the inside

O1NE Beirut won’t be opening on December 19th as announced earlier this week. The venue is ready but there were delays in delivering some equipment due to a supplier as I was told. The official opening date is December 25th.

I was able to take few exclusive pictures from inside the O1NE that I shared below. The interior will be very special and very similar to the O1NE in Abu Dhabi that Mark posted about previously.

The 3D video mapping covering the full 360 degrees of the interior will be something unseen before in Lebanese nightclubs so get ready for a whole new and exciting nightlife experience!

Both interiors of O1NE Beirut and Abu Dhabi are going to be very similar with the biggest difference being the fact that Lebanon won’t have private rooms with balconies overlooking the club (for now). The private rooms in Abu Dhabi can hold around 50 people each which basically means you can hold your own party inside the already larger party taking place (think Inception). The club had a long catwalk stretching from one side of the club to another surrounded by a lounge area on both sides and a bar at the very end. You also had raised areas around the hall similar to Skybar Beirut with plenty of tables and seating.

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Inside O1NE by Skybar (Abu Dhabi)

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The sunset theme

A few months ago I got a tour of O1NE in Beirut while it was still under construction. Back then the graffiti work covering the building was nearly done but the inside was just bricks and dirt. Even though while getting the tour I was being described how the interior would eventually end up looking like it was still pretty difficult to visualize. Fast forward and a few months later I’m in Abu Dhabi for the Formula 1 weekend. While still at the airport waiting for my bags to come out I starting chatting on Whatsapp with a friend from Lebanon. I was telling them I had just landed in Abu Dhabi for the weekend when they proceed to tell me to check out O1NE since it had opened the night before. I had no idea O1NE was opening in Abu Dhabi yet alone it was going to open before Beirut so I was caught a bit off guard. While still on Whatsapp I sent a message to my contact at Skybar asking him if he happened to be in Abu Dhabi by any chance for the opening and turned out he was.


Picture of O1NE Beirut exterior

That same night while heading to the F1 practice sessions I spotted O1NE on my way to the track. The exterior was practically identical to the Beirut one, a large oval shaped building covered with graffiti all around. I didn’t end up passing by O1NE that very night but I did the following evening.


[YouTube]

When I was first given a tour of the Beirut location they told me how their interior would be very special since it would be surrounded by blank white walls on which 3D video mapping would be projected. The idea was pretty simple, with just a click of a button they would be able to transform the interior from one mood to a completely different one and just like that change it again and again. I got to O1NE in Abu Dhabi that night early at around midnight and the first thing that grabbed my attention was the beautiful interior. Since it was still early and the music was still pretty chilled the interior had a beautiful sunset setting projected onto the walls as you can see in the video above. It was like nothing I had seen in a club before with the 3D video mapping covering the full 360 degrees of the interior. As the night progressed and the music started to speed up the wall mapping progressed as well.

Both interiors of O1NE Beirut and Abu Dhabi are going to be very similar with the biggest difference being the fact that Lebanon won’t have private rooms with balconies overlooking the club (for now). The private rooms in Abu Dhabi can hold around 50 people each which basically means you can hold your own party inside the already larger party taking place (think Inception). The club had a long catwalk stretching from one side of the club to another surrounded by a lounge area on both sides and a bar at the very end. You also had raised areas around the hall similar to Skybar Beirut with plenty of tables and seating.


[YouTube]

That weekend a bunch of different performers were coming in every evening, the night I was there Tyga and John Martin were supposed to be performing but Tyga missed his flight due to the shooting that took place at the LA airport. I honestly had no clue who John Martin was until he started singing and then I recognized his song. He was actually pretty enjoyable to watch and as you can see in the video above the crowd who were pretty much wasted were having a blast. Actually I just watched the video for the first time now since recording it and there are a whole bunch of interesting characters and things that take place in the background so pay attention.


Me acting too cool for the ladies in the back

O1NE Beirut is being targeted for a December 19th launch but the date is not official yet. I’m sure Najib will keep you guys posted on the exact launch date once it’s been finalized.

Posted by Mark

Beirut is perpetually partying or at war

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Picture taken Larrysc

I was out partying at The Gärten by Uberhaus in Beirut yesterday and I felt disconnected from everything happening in Lebanon. People there were relaxed, having a great time and enjoying the awesome music.

Conflict or couture? Either Lebanon is a terrorist-infested, war-ridden hell, or the Paris of the East. This article falls into a tradition of western coverage of Lebanon that reduces the country to a clash between barbarism and western-style liberalism, attempting to create a causal link between the two and ultimately failing to grasp the deep history and many layers of complexity in contemporary Lebanon.

Beirut is a labyrinthine web of religions, cultures, political parties and socio-economic strata, all of which are the result of centuries of various dominations, geopolitical struggles and socioeconomic crises. Anyone attempting to write about Beirutis’ reality today must understand and explain this context. [Full Article]

Bedivere Hamra’s policy goes viral: 10% off for any customer willing to give up their phone

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Bedivere has been open for over a year now in Hamra and is a great pub. I’ve been there a couple of times already and their food and drinks are quite good. The ambiance is really nice too and the owner always tries to encourage people to actually socialize instead of spending the night with their phones. He’s quite the social guy himself and always around. I am glad they made it to the Huffington Post, Reddit, E!Online and created a positive vibe online; it’s a nice restaurant policy that should be encouraged in other pubs in Lebanon.

The place opens at 11am and serves lunch as well, including a Plat Du Jour, Moules-frites on Mondays, great steaks specially the Steak on A Lava Stone platter which I had in Vienna once.

Check it out [Here].

Bedivere Eatery & Tavern in Beirut, Lebanon, wants people to actually talk to each other. A Reddit post spread the news of their newest discount around the globe: 10 percent off for any customer willing to give up their phone just one meal.

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PS: This policy is not new as it was already adopted in the US but it’s a first in Lebanon.