My husband and I have gone out again as if we were 25 (but unfortunately the following morning is much rougher than back then...) and discovered some of the great clubs of the city.
I must say that going out in Beirut is similar to the Mexican nightlife from the late 80s and 90s in the sense that what is cool is to go to the club, reserve a table, order a bottle (not a glass) of your spirit of choice and people-watch.
The ladies in Lebanon are insanely done up, with beautifully revealing clothing, lots of jewelry and make up and a totally jet setter attitude. Guys are definitely into jet-setting too, displaying some insanely big watches, and driving cars that you only see in James Bond movies.
My jeans and I usually get a bit self conscious at some point during the night...
Something I had only seen in Acapulco (one of Mexico's party centrals) is the whole sparkler show followed by a line of waiters when someone orders a bottle of champagne for the whole club to see. You gotta love it.
Following, a brief review of some of the places that I have been to, but that do not constitute an exhaustive list, since I haven't gotten the chance, nor the energy to visit all the nightclubs yet.
B018 comes to mind as the coolest place I have visited. Built by the famous architect Bernard Khoury, this place was built on the site of a massacre, so it is shaped like a coffin. This is a rather underground scene, where people go after hours. The 80s night on Thursdays is a-ma-zing. And the ceiling opens so you can party under the stars. Really cool.
White is a place where DJs like Paul Oakenfold have played. This is a place to go to over the summer, as it is open air. The ambiance is rather chic, but people definitely let themselves go to the very good electronic music.
Fly is owned by our friend, and is also a cool summer bar to go to have a drink and enjoy the open air night life in Beirut. The music is more laid back, playing pop and rock and the volume refreshingly lower, which is rare in bars in Beirut where you usually can't hear what other people are saying (OK, did I sound too old there?).
Myu is a cool bar in the Gemmayzeh district, that my friend calls the fishbowl, since the whole front is a giant glass, so you can look at the people inside from the street. Excellent cocktails, laid back music, with some napking-throwing at some points during the night to the great excitement of patrons.
And the Sky Bar, where everyone wants to go, the place to be in Beirut. I must confess that the view of the Mediterranean is quite spectacular and the fireworks at midnight are mind blowing. This is a place where you have to be dressed to the nines to get in, that is if you get in. The sound is pretty monstrous although the resident DJ is not as good as DJs I have heard in other places. And rumor has it that the Saudis fly for the night to Beirut just to spend it at the Sky Bar.
This doesn't count all the amazing restaurants we have visited. I will leave those for another time. Plus there are the clubs that only open during the winter that I haven't been to.
But for the time being, I hope this review encourages you to visit us. Let the party begin!