A live music hall, hidden cocktail bar and burgeoning restaurant bar scene bring fresh options for night life on Long Island going into the deep of winter.
When: Thursday-Saturday nights Where: 294 Main St., Farmingdale The twist: You’ll need a password to visit this (literally) underground spot. The story: When the owners of Charlotte’s Frozen Yogurt in Farmingdale found out a Prohibition-era speak-easy once existed under their building, they decided to turn the space into a modern version. Look up the password for entry on the bar’s website before going — the doorman will ask for it — and once given, he’ll push back a faux bookcase that leads down to the tavern. Co-owner Nick DeVito might give you a tour of the original speakeasy’s escape route that leads next door. “I’m drinking the 1920s Mule,” says Brian Fort from West Babylon, a music teacher. “It’s my first time here and I love it . . . very authentic.” Don’t let the password-for-entry give you the wrong impression. “It’s relaxed and friendly,” says Jill Kenny, a teacher’s aide from Bethpage. More info: 516-586-3595, charlottesspeakeasy.com
Women enjoy Deep Pockets Quartet during a night out at Charlotte's Speakeasy in Farmingdale.
When: Thursday-Sundays Where: 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue The twist: Big music and room to move. The story: Remember The Emporium? The building’s new ownership has taken over the cavernous space. It’s still a bit of a catchall: Business starts with happy hour at the bar and there’s a burger, flatbread and munchie-powered food menu. Late nights on the weekends bring DJs and live music bookings — plus big party potential. With a full concert stage and large sunken dance floor, it’s one of Long Island’s largest places to groove. Coming soon: country nights and other niches, such as Greek music night. More info: 631-714-4486, stereogardenli.com
Dancers take to the floor during a night out at Stereo Garden in Patchogue.
Mister Crook’s Pub
When: Friday-Sunday Where: 23 Grand Ave., Shelter Island Heights The twist: Shelter Island in January? You got it. The story: Ordinarily, the island between the forks is completely quiet on winter nights, but The Chequit inn’s pop-up tavern is changing that. Open for 4- to 5-hour bursts through spring, it’s a cozy spot to grab a hot buttered rum or Irish coffee and watch acoustic musicians play (Saturdays) or football (Sundays). “This is the kind of place I moved to Sag Harbor for,” says Hilary Offenberg, originally of Manhattan. “Even though we have to take the ferry to get here, it’s got groovy music, and it’s so homey.” Her boyfriend, Chuck Wade of East Hampton, concurs. “It’s such a step out of the norm,” Wade says. “It’s more like New England here, like Maine than Long Island.” Tip: Message The Chequit’s owners via Facebook before heading out, as the hours are loosely kept. More info: 631-749-0018, thechequit.com
Fish and chips is among the dishes at Mr. Crooks Pub, a cold-weather pop-up at The Chequit on Shelter Island.
Barito Tacos & Cocktails
When: Saturdays Where: 201 Main St., Port Jefferson The twist: Walk up to the second floor for beats and drinks. The story: Mainly a restaurant focused on Mexican fare, come weekends after 11 p.m. a disc jockey spins remixes, Latin and pop. Don’t expect a wild dance affair, as the scene here is more “have a drink and enjoy the beat.” More info: 631-828-8808
The bean-and-cheese pupusa at Barito Tacos & Cocktails in Port Jefferson.
One North Mediterranean Soul
When: Friday nights Where: 4 Old Jericho Tpke., Jericho The twist: The old Maine Maid Inn’s sprawling new restaurant is stepping into nightlife. The story: After sitting unused for years, the original building, which has roots dating back to the late 1700s, is back as a busy restaurant. But it’s trying to be a well-to-do hangout, too. Friday nights after 9 p.m., a disc jockey spins dance, pop and other beats that should appeal to the 40-and-over crowd. Expect a well-dressed scene: guys in ties, women in heels. More info: 516-605-1400, onenorthrestaurant.com
Patrons gather around the bustling oval shaped bar of One North Mediterranean Soul in Jericho.