Hot Long Island bar scenes to hit this summer

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It’s summer, the sun is out — or it’s a beautiful night — and you’re ready for fun. Here are Long Island bar scenes known as pockets for summer parties.

Ocean Beach, Fire Island

The Island Mermaid in Ocean Beach offers an
(Credit: Aaron Zebrook)

The Fire Island village of Ocean Beach has been known to start firing up its bar scene as early as St. Patrick’s Day, but by Memorial Day it’s in full swing. For DJ and band-driven parties, Sand Bar (470 Bay Walk; 631-224-2796) is a perennial champ as is Castaway Bar & Grill (310 Bay Walk, 631-583-0330). Dining is also a major pastime — with seafood often the main edible attraction — and The Landing (622 Bayberry Walk; 631-583-5800) and Island Mermaid (pictured, 780 Bay Walk; 631-583-8088, islandmermaid.com) are among the options.

2017 SUMMER FUNBOOK -- Patrick O'Conner from Saratoga
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Ocean Beach's food scene includes Maguire’s Bay Front Restaurant (pictured, 1 Bay View Walk; 631-583-8800, maguiresbayfrontrestaurant.com).  Houser's Bar (778 Bay View Walk; 631-583-7805) draws with a pool table and easygoing atmosphere, and CJ’s Restaurant & Bar (479 Bay Walk; 631-583-9890, palmshotelfireisland.com) offers a more traditional tavern style (as well as its signature “Rocket Fuel” cocktail).

Long Beach

From top left, clockwise, Kayla Smith , Erin
(Credit: Linda Rosier)

Don’t let the name fool you: Bars, restaurants and clubs in this seaside city are not actually on the sand — but the strip of spots down Beech Street in its West End combine to form a bustling stretch of hangouts with laid-back, surfer personality make it a match for summer socials. You can start at Shine’s (55 California St.; 516-432-9248, shinesbar.com), a relaxed local bar that has been serving since 1912, the just-a-touch-trendy Jetty Bar & Grill (832 W. Beech St.; 516-442-1338, jettylb.com) or one of many other casual stops like The Beach House (906 W. Beech St.; 516-208-8733, thebeachhouselbny.com), Lilly’s of Long Beach (954 W. Beech St.; 516-442-5484, lillysoflongbeach.com), The Inn (943 W Beech St.; 516-432-9220) and Cabana (pictured, 1034 Beech St.; 516-889-1345).

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At The Saloon in the west end of
(Credit: Sabrina de Sampaio)

The Saloon (pictured, 1016 W. Beech St.; 516-432-9185) has plenty of sports on view over the bar. The biggest room in Long Beach, as it has been for many years, remains Minnesota’s (959 W. Beech St.; 516-432-4080, minnesotaslb.com), and although its new ownership is livening up the decor to give it a fresh look for summer 2017, it will still feature such recurrent favorite doings as its “Sunday Fundays” afternoon parties with musician Ricky Roche and DJ Chopps.

Huntington

Prime, in Huntington offers enormous inside spaces to
(Credit: Johnny Simon)

Huntington has the most densely packed area of bars and nightlife-friendly restaurants around. Go upscale at Prime (pictured, 117 New York Ave.; 631-385-1515, restaurantprime.com), with its waterside deck and bay views — or try cocktails with a side of people-watching from the second-floor location of Crabtree’s (330 New York Ave.; 631-923-0920, crabtreesnyandmain.com). Down the block, Honu Kitchen & Cocktails (363 New York Ave.; 631-421-6900, honukitchen.com) is a veteran nightlife draw for a well-dressed bar crowd, especially on Saturday nights, when a DJ spins club beats late into the evening. Next door, Acacia (371 New York Ave.; 631-923-2299) builds on the same game plan, offering a DJ playing house, pop and hip-hop on weekends, then additionally clearing the rear half of the building to provide a roomy dance space.

Server Jani Zubkovs serves patrons dining in the
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

For more of a bar feel, P’s & Q’s Autobody (30 New St.; 631-351-9812) has a trendy look and casual attitude, while Vauxhall (pictured, 26 Clinton Ave.; 631-425-0222, vauxhallhuntington.com) sees a hip crowd that sticks around late for craft beer and conversation. Craft beer is also a heavy focus at S.T.A.G.S Tap House (308 Main St.; 631-923-2060, stagstaphouse.com), while The Rust and Gold (70 Gerard St.; 631-629-4431) is a winning bet for sports fans with nine large screens for games and walls covered in antique trophies and sports equipment. Black and White (65 Wall St.; 631-385-9255, blackandbluehuntington.com) has a steady calendar of live music and is a draw for the over-35 scene, while the younger set lines up consistently to hang at Finley’s (43 Green St.; 631-351-3440, finleysofhuntington.com). Meanwhile, over on Wall Street, Christopher’s (8 Wall St.; 631-271-0111, christopherscourtyardcafe.com) features DJs in the courtyard Fridays and Saturdays as well as the casual bar scene it’s offered for more than 30 years — but that’s nothing compared to Finnegan’s (5 Wall St.; 631-423-9696, lessings.com) across the street, which is still going strong as a hot neighborhood spot even after 100 years in operation.

Patchogue

Patrons kick back and sip drinks at the
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

The social options in the South Shore village of Patchogue are ever-growing, with the recent addition of Rhum (pictured, 13 E. Main St.; rhumpatchogue.com), a three-level restaurant and bar with an open-air rooftop lounge. Back in the landlocked section of the village, Main Street sports a row of stops for dining, bar scenes and entertainment, including The Tap Room (631-569-5577, patchoguetaproom.com), Brickhouse Brewery (631-447-2337, brickhousebrewery.com), That Meetball Place (631-569-5888, thatmeetballplaceli.com) and Village Idiot Pub (631-289-8471, villageidiotpubli.com).

The Dublin Deck bar and restaurant on River
(Credit: Michael E. Ach)

Head down to the Patchogue River, where Off Key Tikki (31 Baker Pl.; 631-475-1723, offkeytikki.com) returns with its sandy courtyard, firepit, water views and busy event calendar — as does Dublin Deck Tiki Bar and Grill (pictured, 325 River Ave.; 631-207-0370, dublindeck.com), another outdoor riverside party spot where DJs and bands are the central draws.

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Montauk

Montauk Beach House has much to offer guests--and
(Credit: Ian J. Stark)

Montauk hasn’t quite returned to its sleepy village roots, despite the hamlet’s legal crackdown on unruly behavior last summer. Day parties and nightlife are on, but visitors shouldn’t expect the wild times of summers past. Fans of The Sloppy Tuna (148 S. Emerson Ave.; 631-942-4223, lisloppytuna.com) will find it still in operation in its original beachfront location, with DJs and bands announced to roll. Solé East (90 Second House Rd.; 631-668-2105, soleeast.com) is an upscale hotel that hosts offbeat-but-affordable events open to the public, as does The Montauk Beach House (pictured, 55 S. Elmwood Ave.; 631-‪668-2112, thembh.com), whose poolside day gatherings feature notable DJs, musicians and performers, with no entrance fee.

The crowds start early at Surf Lodge in
(Credit: Aaron Zebrook)

Trendy Montauk spot The Surf Lodge (pictured, 183 Edgemere St.; 631-483-5037, thesurflodge.com) is a bet for an artsy and hip scene, returning for its 10th season with new culinary twists and art events, as well as another concert series. The true area veteran is Gurney’s Montauk (290 Old Montauk Hwy.; 631-668-2345, gurneysmontauk.com): Open since the 1920s, it stands as a year-round hotel and stop for hospitality with bars, dining and its ocean-facing deck that pits ocean breezes against its attractive firepit — as well as a summer entertainment program open to guests and non-guests alike.

Greenport

Evan Bucholz, 35, of South Jamesport, bartender and
(Credit: Heather Walsh)

The undisputed point for food, drink and public revelry on the North Fork, Greenport's largest draw remains Claudio’s Clam Bar on the Wharf (111 Main St.; 631-477-1889, claudios.com), with its live-music-friendly deck, big bar and water views. Open since 1870, it’s been the shindig center of the village for generations. For a more trendy bender, the underground, speakeasy-styled Brix & Rye (pictured, 308 Main St.; 631-477-6985, brixandrye.com) does complicated specialty cocktails while First and South (100 South St.; 631-333-2200, firstandsouth.com) is a friendly tavern great for casual drinks. Stirling Sake (477 Main St.; 631-477-6782, stirlingsake.com) is firmly a restaurant, but the offerings at its cozy bar (where its namesake drink is the mainstay) are a solid bet.

Patrons chat and sip drinks over the background
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Tequila mixers and tacos rule at Lucharitos (pictured, 119 Main St.; 631-477-6666, lucharitos.com), but for a truly unique moment, head down Bootleg Alley to Little Creek Oyster Farm & Market (37 Front St.; 631-477-6992, littlecreekoysters.com), a small restaurant and bar quietly located behind the main drag. Its focus is oyster-eating, but the venue is known for late-night pop-up events and small gatherings often worthy of investigation (such as its weekly “Bring Your Own Vinyl” Thursday night record listening sit-in).

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