Everything has gone from bad to worse in the past few years in Lebanon except partying. Every year the parties get hotter and better and that’s one of the few things we can still brag about as Lebanese. Sundays at Skybar, Decks on the beach, Mar Mikhael’s Train Station, Garten, O1NE, B018, C U NXT SAT and other venues made Beirut’s nightlife this summer the best in years and I am positive things will only get better.
Since what’s happening in the Middle East is way too complex for anyone to understand, let us think of our beloved capital as a “comfort in the chaos, as a place where the lack of regulation somehow makes life easier, and where partying and preserving this lifestyle is worth fighting for”.
Despite its political climate, Beirut has maintained an irreverent and thriving party scene for years. Rooftop nightclubs adorn the coast of the Mediterranean, bohemian districts cater to tourists and local artists, and bars offer coke-fueled benders down the street from Hezbollah headquarters. It doesn’t get more scenic.
The juxtaposition of political tension and flagrant partying is not the only clash of interests in Lebanon. The New Jersey–sized country is one of the most religiously diverse in the Middle East, offering representation to 18 different religious sects and all the divergent political ideologies that come with them. But nothing has survived civil war, foreign invasion, 800,000 refugees, and a regular stream of targeted bombings quite like Beirut’s club scene.
This disregard for the violence that surrounds Beirut is not apathy. Partygoers are all too aware of the country’s political turmoil but stay within its imploding borders to seek a better alternative. In that respect, nightlife has become yet another medium in the culture of dissent. But the influx of Syrian refugees and the encroaching threat of the Islamic State has made tourism plummet by 40 percent this year, with hotels and airlines lamenting up to 60 percent in revenue loss. To many, it seems like Beirut’s revelry is doomed, but not to Yousef Harati. [Link]
Walkman is a new pub and restaurant created by the same people behind February 30 and Checkpoint Charlie, two of my favorite pubs in Beirut. I love the 80s and Walkman is all about the 80s, so I am looking forward to visiting it.
I will post a full review soon. Until then, you can check further info [Here].
I just got back from Lebanon a few days ago and here are my favorite places for 2014:
SUN.DAYS at Skybar
Skybar Beirut have something new going on this year and it’s called SUN.DAYS. Starts at 6:30PM on Sundays while the sun is still up and goes on till past midnight. The whole Skybar gets a major makeover for SUN.DAYS with fake grass flooring, a raised bar area and colorful lounges and chairs all over. It actually takes them nearly 12 hours to setup this conversion, that’s how dedicated they are to SUN.DAYS. There are also special guests on SUN.DAYS and while I was there HVOB were performing and I ended up capturing the great shot below. Reservation is a must.
Probably the nicest looking pool in Lebanon with the greatest view. Located up in Faraya, Le Montagnou is a restaurant with an outdoor pool and bar. Caters mostly to the fancy schmancy crowd of Faraya and Faqra but still cheaper than many pools in Beirut. Stay for the sunset and reservation is a must.
The Gärten by Uberhaus
They’re only open Saturday night from around 8PM to 6AM and it was favorite place last summer and again this summer. It’s an outdoor club that’s open just for the summer with a large green garden filled with bean bags on one side and a huge open dome which is the dance floor on the other. Thank you Gino for the backstage pass!
There are a ton of great pubs in Mar Mikhael but my favorite this trip was Internazionale. It’s owned by the same owner as another favorite pub of mine Torino Express. Internazionale has two advantages over Torino, a larger space and the fact it’s located in the more vibrant Mar Mikhael area. Just like at Torino, the owner DJ’s here as well.
The Train Station
I wish I had taken pictures of this place but I didn’t have my camera on me then. The Train Station is located on the grounds of the old Mar Mikhael train station. They’ve taken one of the abandoned rusty 50+ year old trains and setup a DJ booth inside. They then setup a bar along with tables all around and they’ve kept everything intact including a rust old water tower which the bar surrounds. Pricy for what it is but it’s worth checking out.
Also located in Mar Mikhael, The Junkyard is located in a large space between a heavily packed residential area and the theme of the place is a giant junkyard. There is indoor and outdoor seating it’s also worth passing by and checking out since it’s visually interesting. The place is a bit too bright so best to start off your evening with The Junkyard which makes sense anyway since they have a good food menu filled with friendly dishes like burgers and fish & chips.
Make sure you check out last years Ultimate Lebanon Summer Guide since most of the recommendations are still applicable as well [Link]
Posted by Mark
Sundays at Skybar are proving to be a huge success and HVOB are coming back for the 3rd time to set the perfect mood for a Sunday evening! I’ve already booked my seats and I am hoping I can make it this time since the past weekends have been crazy.
Maybe this pub is the reason why mystery nudists are being spotted in Mar Mikhael.
This is what BeirutNightLife had to say about this Freaky Friday the 13th party:
It was a spooky Friday the 13th in June, with lots of scary happenings and decorations at the Forsaken Villa of Dora. As midnight approached and the eery full moon was rising, zombies and goons invaded the house and threw a massive bash. Jägermeister brought us this night of horror and music, and the frightful crowd loved the evening of freaky fun at the villa. Lots of scary decorations and costumes filled the dark night, and of course the highlight was the musical ensemble. LA-based DJ group DROOG graced guests with a spectacular set. Meanwhile local DJs including MEENOX, THREE MACHINES, PABLO also set the spooky musical mood in Dora. The night was a frightful success and lasted all night with the crowd having a blast!
And this is how some people saw it in Lebanon [Link].
I honestly don’t know how they mistook a themed party for a devil worshiping ceremony. I am not sure why one would even think about such things when he sees Jägermeister bottles. I can’t stop laughing every time I think about it.
I didn’t expect to see that coming but I thought it was pretty funny and it does sent out a nice message. Moreover, the monster looks better than the one in Godzilla. One thing that seems unrealistic to me though, was that all of Beirut was lit up.
I couldn’t stop laughing while watching the report and seeing the pictures shared online. How could they have missed the Friday 13th hashtag on the wall and what does Jägermeister have to do with anything here?
I love Jägermeister and I attend creepy Halloween or Friday the 13th themed parties. Does that make me a devil worshiper?
The grand opening was supposed to be last week but was delayed due to the bad weather. Instead it is taking place tonight and the party will go on till Sunday! Speaking of Sundays, Skybar is apparently organizing sunset parties where everyone can enjoy a laid-back evening starting 6pm.
I don’t have much information about this new concept but it sounds pretty cool.
Update: Gino got details on the new changes being introduced to SkyBar this summer, check them out [Here].