Summer Highlight III: The New Places

V-lovers come out! A new stencil's in town
Part of having a dynamic nightlife like Beirut’s, is having to live through even your favorite spot closing down. But then there’s also the new places, the new discoveries, the places that make you want to go out again just for the sake of trying something new, just to say you tried to wipe out some of that Beirut boredom routine.

Getting the chance to party in a place like the Linda Sursock Palace – even if this going to sound like the radio ad for a MixFM event – was no less than epic and memorable. Big kudos to Behind the Green Door, even if part of the credit has to go to Cotton Candy who were the first to do it a couple years ago. That would be my number one highlight of a ‘new place’, which naturally had to come from one of the players in the underground scene.

My number two would be the new clubs that focus on live music performances, that give more meat than Music Hall and more flavor than the live entertainment of the likes of Pier7: One is the Democratic Republic of Music (DRM) in Hamra, and the other one is the recently opened Angry Monkey in Gemmayze, both of which we should be thankful to for bringing back the LIVE.

Another highlight – or should I say coup-de-coeur – is the Coop d’Etat / Em Nazih complex on Pasteur street , which also houses rental rooms and spoken Lebanese Arabic classes for visiting foreigners. A cosy spot that shows you can still get a pretty crowd and a 5,000L beer.

Number four would be this cute new pubs area near the Samir Kassir memorial fountain at the Northern edge of downtown. It hosts a burger joint, a tapas bar, and a bunch of friendly little bars, all in a perfectly landscape-designed (and pedestrian!) area that gives it so much of a European feel that it makes you forget this is actually Beirut. They’re all unpretentious, and best of all they make me feel like downtown is a place for us again! (no offense to the tourists and the nouveaux riches of the solidere-town).

And then there’s the somewhat lowkey activity on the GiB scene, that barely makes it to number 5. Ghost Bar opened in Jdeide in the beginning of summer; it was dubbed “the new Acid” but it is actually more like a caricature of Acid in my mind – so not so much a summer highlight.

Finally most recently there was the opening of Le BOY in Saifi/Harbor area…It held the promise to be hot and happening (to me), until I found out it actually opened at the same location as former Milk – Le BIG disappointment! Even Barcelona’s Salvation didn’t get me to come! Vivian Shallop crowd if you read this, I promise to try it at some point to make up a fair opinion.

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