Live Music, A Lively Wine Bar, A Craft Brewery & A Hip Bowling Alley
When it comes to hot L.A.-area nightlife, one area that does not spring to mind is the high desert city of Lancaster.
But in the heat of the night, Lancaster sizzles, and it has as much to do with the bars as it does the weather.
Believe it or not – and you’re not likely to believe it until you experience it – Lancaster has a vibrant nightlife scene. It’s all centered on a stretch of Lancaster Blvd., called, simply enough, The BLVD.
This is the city’s center strip area and while it’s not as prolific as another Southern California desert city, Palm Springs, it’s surprisingly diverse.
And it’s not all desert roughnecks and troublemaker-looking types, a typical stereotype of the people here. Lancaster has a lot of upscale aerospace citizens and long-rooted families. In fact, go and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how pleasant all the people are in Lancaster. They will welcome you to their city as if you are a visiting relative (one they like, of course).
Here’s the scoop on where to drink and party in Lancaster on The BLVD.
THURSDAY NIGHTS FREE CONCERTS
We’ll start by mentioning The BLVD is busy three nights a week, beginning Thursdays with a free concert. This runs from April thru October and while there are not any one-time big-name touring bands that play, the event brings out thousands of locals and creates a casual hang-out and festive atmosphere.
The band sets up at the center of The BLVD., right in front of theBeX Bar & Grill. There’s no drinking in the streets but you can have a beer on the patio of BeX and hear the music.
The attire is comfortable and casual, meaning shorts are widely accepted, but the place has a bit of class to it, so don’t look sloppy.
BEX BAR & GRILL
BeX is the centerpiece of nightlife in Lancaster. In fact, it’s the “go-to” bar for pretty much everything nightlife.
Because Lancaster doesn’t have a ton of bars, BeX puts pretty much all you party needs under one roof. There’s a restaurant on one side with upscale bar food and a lounge/small club on another side. It’s in the lounge where really good local bands play – mostly rock cover tunes – and people drink and dance.
There’s a $5 cover for the lounge but nowhere else in the bar. Five bucks for a live band in a club-like atmosphere!? This may look a bit like a Hollywood club but it most certainly is not a Hollywood club.
Downstairs, it’s a totally different environment, a large, open area with a huge TV on the wall and super-comfortable chairs for watching sports and playing games such as air hockey, pool and – get this – a bowling alley!
Yes, a bowling alley. There are a dozen lanes, lighted by multi-colored lights and surrounded with a Vegas-style lounge area. Yes, it’s as cool as it sounds. So if you’re single, this is a place to either strike out, or strike up, a conversation.
The bartenders are super-friendly (so, too, is the head of security, by the way) and in addition to tap and craft beers, BeX has a long list of cocktails and very well-made speciality drinks by bartenders that care about making good drinks for their customers.
You could easily spend your whole night in BeX, moving between the lounge and the sports bar/bowling alley and, of course, the patio.
Bex is also the later-night party place because it’s open until 1:30 a.m., later than the other places featured in this post.
POUR D’ VINO WINE BAR
If you think you’re going here for a quiet glass of good vino, then think again.
Pour D’ Vino pours not just good wines (international and domestic), it pours on the fun. There’s a small but lively band playing just inside the door and the place is packed with fun-loving people. Your first thought when walking in here for the first time could well be “oh…game ON!”
What is it about drinking wine that makes people so happy? Whatever it is, it’s on full display here. Pour D’ Vino has some 100 wines, plus craft beers.
The dining room becomes a lively lounge when the band plays from 7-10 p.m.
There’s also a patio plus an upstairs deck with a fireplace. That’s for when you need to take a breath and enjoy the wine and your company. But don’t get too comfortable; it closes at midnight.
KINETIC BREWING COMPANY
If there’s a wine bar on The BLVD., then surely there’a craft beer bar too, right?
Yes there is and it’s Kinetic Brewing Company, which has 25 local and guest beers on tap. PubClub.com’s favorite is the blonde and there’s a selection for every beer taste. The food is outstanding, too; the menu is simple and is led by a thick burger (see below for a link to a food review here and other places to eat on The BLVD).
Kinetic Brewing is a hang-out-and-drink-good-beer place, which is one reason it’s such a popular place on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Like Pour D’ Vino, there’s a packed patio to watch the happenings up and down The BLVD.
Careful, tho – you may get so comfortable here you’ll stay until last call. Which, it iis important to note, is also midnight.
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