Near the geographic center of Westchester County, White Plains also serves as the region’s commercial, political and cultural center. Thankfully for night owls, there’s also a vibrant nightlife scene, especially during summer months when many places offer outdoor seating.
Whether you’re a recent college grad or a few years removed from attempting a keg stand, here are our favorite downtown destinations, presented as they appear headed south on Mamaroneck Avenue.
With appetizers including three-cheese nachos and Korean beef lettuce wraps, Elements is a casual eatery with sophisticated touches (161 Mamaroneck Ave., 914-358-4930, elementswhiteplains.com). Smooth, brown wooden paneling along the walls complements the main bar that stretches the length of a wall. Rooftop seating is not just available during the summer — it’s a year-round experience, thanks to strategically placed space heaters. Elements also hosts weekly events — jazz on Tuesdays, karaoke on Wednesdays and latin music on Thursdays.
Who should go: Elements is ideal for anyone of age who’s looking to elevate their experience from mere beers and wings (although you can find those there, too).
Happy hour: From 4 to 7 p.m. daily you’ll pay $3 to $4 for draft beers, $5 for a glass of wine and $6 for martinis and many appetizers.
Where to sit: On the roof, weather permitting.
With royal red curtains complementing the black, brown and gold tones, the sleekest bar on Mamaroneck Avenue is also one of the most spacious, seating up to 270 people (165 Mamaroneck Ave., 914-358-9600, hudsongrilleny.com). Like the neighboring Brazen Fox, the outdoor beer garden is the place to be during the summer months.
Who should go: People who are looking for a good time, a great atmosphere and a comfortable place to sit.
Happy hour: From 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays
Where to sit: Every seat, from stools at the opulent bar in the middle of the main room to the gold-and-brown cushioned banquettes in the side room, exudes class. You can’t go wrong with any of the options.
With 15 plasma screen TVs and six mini in-booth TVs, the Black Bear Saloon ensures you’ll never miss a game (166 Mamaroneck Ave., 914-997-2766, blackbearwp.com). For more lively entertainment, the friendly, casual venue offers trivia on Monday, karaoke on Tuesday, and a DJ spinning Top 40 hits from Tuesday to Saturday.
Who should go: Black Bear caters to a mixed crowd, but as the night gets older, the crowd gets younger.
Happy hour: From 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays, drinks drop to half price. All appetizers (from a seperate, happy hour menu) are $5.
Where to sit: Outdoor patio, weather permitting. Otherwise, the main floor is where all the action happens.
With its ornate woodwork, deep red curtains, and back room complete with a in-wall book display, the Wicked Wolf Tavern feels like an upscale den (166B Mamaroneck Ave., 914-428-3144, wickedwolfwp.com). The sister venue to the Black Bear Saloon, the Wicked Wolf features specials like Tijuana Tuesdays, where coronas, tequila shots, and tacos drop to $2 at 9 p.m. On every Friday and Saturday night, the venue presents a Dueling Piano show, where by requests of patrons, two pianists play anything from rock-n-roll to Top 40 tunes. After the show, the speakers transmit music from the DJ playing next door at Black Bear, for more late night entertainment.
Who should go: From professionals to twenty-somethings looking for some fun, the Wicked Wolf Tavern caters to everyone.
Happy hour: From 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays, drinks drop to half price. All appetizers (from a separate, happy hour menu) are $5.
Where to sit: In the back room, which offers a semi-private space to enjoy the entertainment.
Casual enough for jeans but more sophisticated than a dive bar, this Irish pub is relaxed and cozy during the day, yet exudes energy by night (169 Mamaroneck Ave., 914-831-5663, porterhousebar.com). This place is packed on the weekends, with upbeat tunes pumping from the DJ booth. The festive outdoor beer garden is open air in the summer and covered by a tent come winter.
Who should go: The crowd is primarily flirty 20- and 30-somethings on Friday and Saturday nights, but there’s a more communal and less Darwinian vibe for all ages during lunch and dinner hours.
Happy hour: From 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays you can order half-price appetizers and find $4 beer and martini specials.
Where to sit: The tables by the fireplace provide warmth during colder months, but when the weather warms, nothing beats the people watching from any seat in the outdoor beer garden.
As it gets late into the night, the crowd at The Brazen Fox likes to gather around the main bar, dancing to Top 40, house, and electronic hits (175 Mamaroneck Ave., 914-358-5911, thebrazenfox.com). With two floors, sidewalk seating, and an outdoor patio, Brazen, as it’s affectionately called, offers plenty of open space. In addition, the kitchen runs until 2 a.m., offering fare like fried pickles and beef sliders until late in the night.
Who should go: On weekends, the crowds are primarily 20- and 30-somethings looking to unwind.
Happy hour: From 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays, 30 top-shelf signature martinis and cocktails drop to $4.
Where to sit: The plush booths on the main floor are a great place to people-watch. For a breather, escape to the outdoor patio for open space and some late-night conversation.
If you're in the mood for live music, head a couple blocks over on Post Road. What used to be the Thirsty Turtle now houses The Rec Room, one of Westchester’s newest live music venues (201 E. Post Rd., 914-993-0505, therecroomwp.com). Aiming to offer a CBGB-type of experience, The Rec Room lets local, up-and-coming talent take the stage on Friday and Saturday nights. Anyone into live music is welcome to dance on the open space in front of the stage.
Who should go: Music junkies yearning for the live experience prevalent in the '80s and '90s.
Happy hour: Since the venue opens at 9 p.m., there are no happy hour specials.
Where to sit: Don’t. Stand up right in front of the stage for the best live music experience.