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Top Bars and Nightlife in Wilmington

The best bars, lounges, and clubs in Wilmington

Top Bars and Nightlife in Wilmington

Wilmington has enough to keep even the most intrepid partygoers happy. From casual dive bars to rooftop bars with a view, Wilmington has a lot to offer in terms of nightlife.

Here’s a guide to exploring the area's top bars and lounges as shared by the notable local chefs, artists, brewers, and entrepreneurs who know the destination best. If you're looking for something a bit more easy-going, jump over to the Top Craft Breweries in Wilmington and Beaches.

Satellite Bar and Lounge

Recommended by: Sam Cahoon, Dean Neff, Ben Mabry, Jess Reedy, Khalisa Rae Williams, Craig Love

Neighborhood: Wilmington's South Front Street District

Satellite Bar and Lounge

Satellite Bar and Lounge welcomes all. “Satellite is great. You can go there in your overalls. You can dress up, dress down, or come as you are!” says Jess Reedy of Pineapple Studios.

In addition to serving great beers on tap, Satellite is also one of the best spots to experience live music in Wilmington and Beaches. Ben Mabry of Beta Radio says, “They have Bluegrass nights on Sundays. You can listen to the banjo and drink a Double IPA on tap from a North Carolina, local brewery.”

The Blind Elephant

Recommended by: Ben Mabry, Ashley Tipper

Neighborhood: Wilmington's Historic Downtown / River District

The Blind Elephant

The Blind Elephant is just about everyone's favorite speakeasy in Wilmington, and it's easy to see why.

With a delicious, rotating whiskey and craft cocktail menu and hidden-gem vibe (it's located in an alley), The Blind Elephant is a must-stop on a night out for travelers and locals alike.

Duck and Dive

Recommended by: Sam Cahoon, Dani Bearss, Randy McQuay

Neighborhood: Wilmington's Historic Downtown / River District

Source: Facebook

Duck and Dive is a small, English-feeling pub says Dani Bearrs, Head Brewer at Waterline Brewing Company. It’s also one of the best places to experience live music in Wilmington.

Randy McQuay says, “There are a few smaller pubs like Duck and Dive and Goat and Compass, which have live music almost every single night of the year, and that's sort of crazy and unique."

The Husk

Recommended by: Sam Cahoon

Neighborhood: Wilmington's Historic Downtown / River District

Source: Facebook

The Husk is a centrally-located, laid-back bar that offers a long beer list and all the standard (read: great) pub fare. “Absolutely, Husk. They have a great outdoor section with lots of TVs. You'll have tourists there, but locals there as well,” says Sam Cahoon of Savorez.

Blue Post Billiards

Recommended by: Sam Cahoon, Ben Mabry, Billy Mellon, Emily Luther, Khalisa Rae Williams

Neighborhood: Wilmington's Historic Downtown / River District

Blue Post Billiards

Blue Post Billiards is a local dive bar with a relaxed atmosphere, beer, and (you guessed it) pool!

Billy Mellon of manna ave. 123 recommends Blue Post Billiards as part of a nightlife tour in Wilmington: “After a night out, if you’ve still got some staying power, I’d go over to Blue Post for a couple of good beers and a couple games of pool.” Look carefully, though. It may be easy to miss Blue Post if you’re a first-timer.

Ben Mabry says, “Blue Post is kind of a younger dive bar, but they don’t really have signage out front. It's kind of the type of thing where you know about it if you've been around here long enough.”

Beer Barrio

Recommended by: Tony Silvagni, Emily Luther, Ben Mabry, Haley Jensen, Rhonda Bellamy, Mike Barlas

Neighborhood: Wilmington's Historic Downtown / River District

Beer Barrio

Beer Barrio is known for their tacos and craft beer, and it's a great place to hang out with friends in downtown.

Rhonda Bellamy of the Wilmington Arts Council says, “Beer Barrio is a delicious Tex-Mex fusion restaurant.”

In addition to being a go-to spot for dinner, drinks, and nightlife, Wilmington's locals recommend swinging by Beer Barrio by for lunch as well. “Their lunch atmosphere is a little hip, fun, and upbeat,” says Emily Luther of CRUST Kitchen and Cocktails.

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