Nightlife in New Bern, NC

 

Although New Bern, NC seems like a fairly quiet town, it is home several secluded bars, taverns, restaurants and theaters where the nightlife remains alive with music, dancing, karaoke and a last call of 2 AM. Each spot is catered to interests of all ages, ranging from the ambiance of candlelit dinners and fine wine to historic underground taverns and clubs with DJs that pump out music until the wee hours of the morning. More cerebral nightlife lies with New Bern's active theater scene, which offers up a musical production nearly every weekend and Shakespeare productions in the summer.

New visitors to New Bern will find that the scene is spread out across town, with only three spots remaining open past 11 p.m. in the downtown area. These bars become quite popular during the weekends and summer months but don't expect to see a lot of live music. Noise ordinances and lack of performance space leave few options for live music in downtown New Bern.  Occasionally you’ll find a band playing in the beer garden off Craven Street, the DoubleTree Deck Party or just across the bridge at the BridgePoint Marina. However, of these three, only the BridegPoint offers music beyond 9 p.m. There are still great choices for atmosphere downtown that range from rooftop wine tastings to classic underground taverns and a few 'holes in the wall.' This is also a good spot for wine connoisseurs and lovers of microbrews on draft.

Move across the drawbridge and farther out of town to find pubs where the band plays on into the night. The only downside is that these spots are spread out. So don't plan a night of walking from bar to bar in search of live music. Generally you'll want to plan your evening based on the band and then expect to hang there a while. This also means plan on contacting a cab for a ride home sooner, rather than later. New Bern has a very limited supply of taxis and their availability can be quite limited in the witching hours between 1 and 3 a.m. This is especially true in the summer or when larger groups of people are in town for MumFest, Bike MS or conventions being held at larger venues like the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center.

Those who prefer to get their nightlife in during the earlier hours of the night will find a lot more options, particularly when it comes to more cultural scenes. New Bern is buzzing nearly every weekend with an event. Whether it’s Artwalk, in which numerous art openings and businesses are serving up wine, or a new play by one of three theatre troupes in town or a jazz concert at the North Carolina History Center, New Bern is definitely a town that loves its arts. Check our events calendar for some of the year’s larger events or connect with our Facebook page for links to the weekend’s hottest events.

Featured Local Businesses

New Bern Nightlife

MJ's Raw Bar & Grille New Bern NightlifeMJ's Raw Bar & Grille216 Middle St.
New Bern, NC 28560 • map(252) 635-6890
mjsrawbar.com

MJ's Raw Bar & Grille caters both to lunch and to dinner crowds. Fair prices enhanced by daily specials bring locals in for crab-stuffed mushroom appetizers, homemade soups, Maryland crab cakes and desserts. Shrimp, oysters, clams, crawfish, scallops and mussels invite gourmet diners to the raw bar while blackened Angus, Mellow...more about MJ's Raw Bar & Grille

1797 Steamer Bar221 S. Front St.
New Bern, NC 28560 • map(252) 635-3232

The 1797 Steamer Bar, a nightclub with a Cheers-type atmosphere, is open seven days a week from 5 PM to 2 AM in the cellar of the Harvey Mansion. Decor includes the original mansion kitchen fireplace and andirons, as well as a copper-top bar, exposed beams and a low ceiling for...more about 1797 Steamer Bar

Capt. Ratty's Seafood & Steakhouse202 Middle St.
New Bern, NC • map(252) 633-2088

Having won  "Wine Spectator" Awards for the last seven years, Capt. Ratty's is known for its excellent selection of wines. Available during dinner or at the new wine bar, which is open Wednesday to Saturday from 5 PM until, wine lovers can also enjoy special tastings on Wednesdays from 5:30-7:30 PM. In...more about Capt. Ratty's Seafood & Steakhouse

The Chelsea Restaurant335 Middle St.
New Bern, NC 28560 • map(252) 637-5469

The Chelsea is a popular downtown gathering place for those interested in gourmet and low country menus. The bar is in the restaurant area (see our New Bern Restaurants chapter) and serves mixed drinks, beer and wine. Because the Chelsea is a local landmark in itself, a traditional choice for excellent...more about The Chelsea Restaurant

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New Bern Riverfront  $$$100 Middle St.
New Bern, NC 28560 • map(252) 638-3585

The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New Bern Riverfront in can be found in the historic downtown district of New Bern. Recently converted to a DoubleTree Hotel, this is an ideal spot for large parties and is within easy walking distance of shops and restaurants. The hotel features guest rooms and suites...more about DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New Bern Riverfront

Mr. Stix Billiards  $$$2724 Neuse Blvd.
New Bern, NC 28562 • map(252) 638-2299

Practice your shots in a quiet, inviting place where, after warming up, you can always find a challenging game. Bring your own stick, or you can buy or borrow one. The 9-foot regulation tables in the back are rented by the hour; those in the front operate on quarters. Open daily,...more about Mr. Stix Billiards

Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant at Skipjack Landing  $$-$$$100 Pollock St.
New Bern, NC 28560 • map(252) 514-0033

Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant at Skipjack Landing books evening entertainment and posts programs, dates and times on its website for patrons. Open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday, Persimmons carries full ABC licensing and offers a good variety of local microbrews as well as an excellent wine list. The waterfront location with docking...more about Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant at Skipjack Landing

Rivertowne Ballroom  $$-$$$305 Pollock St.
New Bern, NC 28560 • map(252) 637-2003

Rivertowne Ballroom dance studio specializes in teaching all the most popular social and ballroom dances, as well as Line Dancing and Zumba fitness classes. Its well-trained and experienced staff can instruct people at all levels, from the beginner who has never danced before to the advanced student who wants to perform...more about Rivertowne Ballroom

 
 
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