Where the nightlife scene sizzles

The staff at Dublin Down Tavern in Bayport

The staff at Dublin Down Tavern in Bayport keeps the party going. (Feb. 6, 2010) (Credit: Doug Young)

There are lots of places to go out on Long Island - but in the end, most of us want to be where everyone else is, right?

Here's the scoop on some of the busiest bars and most crowded clubs on Long Island.

IF YOU WANT TO DANCE

GLO737 Merrick Ave., Westbury, 516-794-8022, glonightclubli.com

As big and flashy as any serious Manhattan nightclub, Glo sports a sunken dance floor, giant screens and pulsing lights. It's the only year-round spectacle of its kind - the crowd is flashy (think provocative evening wear) and celebrity DJs keep the flocks dancing hard. Pop and dance acts (Kim Sozzi, Kelis) make the occasional cameo.

Peak time: After 11 p.m. Thursday-Saturdays
Cover: $10-$25

SAVANNAH: 1900 Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow, 516-794-2586, thesavannahclub.com

On Saturdays, the dance floor at Savannah can stay completely jammed - even past 2:30 a.m.

AQUA25 East Broadway, Port Jefferson, 631-928-5200, aquanightclub.com

In Port Jefferson, Aqua is one of the newest "reborn" nightspots - the 25-and-older crowd has been packing both floors after 10:30 p.m. on Fridays - downstairs for tapas at Wave, upstairs for dancing to hits spun by Jenny Costa.

FOR A GREAT HAPPY HOUR

RARE650: 650 Jericho Tpke., Syosset, 516-496-8000, rare650.com

The bar has developed a reputation as a spot for corporate 30-somethings to 50-somethings to meet up after work. It starts with happy hour at 5 p.m., building up until 7 p.m., when a DJ starts playing background music. Dance music starts after 9 p.m.

Peak time: After 5 p.m. Thursdays
Cover: None

POST OFFICE CAFE: 130 W. Main St., Babylon, 631-669-9224, lessings.com

The Post Office Café has what seems to be the best-attended happy hour around, especially from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Fridays, with half-price drinks and a free buffet.

CHIC COCKTAIL LOUNGE

NISEN SUSHI: 7697 Jericho Tpke., Woodbury, 516-496-7000, nisensushi.com

Talk about hip. "Sexy Sushi Thursdays" at this restaurant-cocktail lounge start with an 8-9 p.m. open bar for ladies. Inevitably, the place is filled by 10 with pretty people dressed in expensive casual wear. A DJ spins house music and Japanese anime cartoons play behind the bar. Cocktails include $12 martinis such as the "Eye-Opener" (Skyy Infusions pineapple vodka, Red Bull).

Peak time: After 9:30 p.m. Thursdays
Cover: None

FOUR FOOD STUDIO: 515 Broadhollow Rd., Melville, 631-577-4444, fourfoodstudio.com

The closest thing to a Hamptons lounge west of the Shinnecock Canal, Four Food Studio and Cocktail Salon in Melville still draws a well-dressed crowd after 10 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays-Saturdays that hangs outside on the patio or takes in trendy $13-$14 cocktails at the bar.

PACKED BAR SCENE

MILLER'S ALE HOUSE: 3046 Hempstead Tpke., Levittown, 516-520-7000, millersalehouse.com

It's a national chain, so why does it feel like it was built just for Long Island? Nearly 2 years old, the bar-restaurant swarms with sports fans and the post-college crowd looking to socialize.

Peak time: After 5 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays
Cover: None

MCFADDEN'S RVC: 210 Merrick Rd., Rockville Centre, 516-442-2600, mcfaddensrvc.com

Over 30? You might feel out of place at McFadden's RVC in Rockville Centre, popular with the college set Wednesday through Saturday.

THE NUTTY IRISHMAN: 60 E. Main St., Bay Shore, 631-969-9700, thenuttyirishman.com

Nightlife options abound in Bay Shore, but The Nutty Irishman remains a hot spot among 21- to 35-year-olds who come for drink specials and live music. Covers average $5-$10.

DUBLIN DOWN TAVERN: 11 Montauk Hwy., Blue Point, 631-363-0523, dublindowntavern.com

With a look that's best described as ski lodge-meets-sports bar, The Dublin Down Tavern in Blue Point hits its peak after 10 p.m. Thursdays, when there's a $5 cover.

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