Party Scene

Baja Sharkeez Newport Beach

114 Mc Fadden Pl., Newport Beach, CA 92663

For whatever reason, the weekend nights at Sharkeez tend to be attract a slightly out-of-town crowd eager for good times at this Baja-inspired bar. The line may get long but waiting usually takes no more than 10-15 minutes and once inside, a bevy of bartenders are available to make an assortment of tropical and traditional drinks.

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Beach Ball

2116 W. Oceanfront, Newport Beach, CA 92663

It’s funny that Beach Ball is on West Oceanfront (essentially, the sidewalk that becomes the boardwalk to the north and south of Newport Pier) because Beach Ball, even on weekends, tends to skew local. At this two-level bar, play pool, grab drinks and soak in the Balboa Peninsula flavor.

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Cassidy’s Bar & Grill

2603 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach, CA 92663

Cassidy’s on weekdays is a strictly local scene but on the weekends, it’s jam packed with people ready to party. (Although Thursday nights in summer also tend to heat up.) The line moves quickly, the drinks are strong and the patrons are always really … friendly. Arrive before 9 p.m. and you can still grab yourself an award-winning burger with special sauce.

Cruisers Pizza Bar Grill

801 E. Balboa Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92661

An East Balboa weekend choice with Midwestern flavor, Cruisers is like an establishment you’d see in Wrigleyville, Chicago. The patrons are warm, the drinks are cold and the beer pong tables at the outdoor patio ensure you’ll be entertained for hours.

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Malarky’s Irish Pub

3011 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach, CA 92663

To avoid the long line-up of eager partygoers at Malarky’s, arrive before 10 p.m. (Otherwise, on some nights you can cut the line for a $20 fee.) The crowd at Malarky’s tends to be more collegiate, especially in the summer months, but at this good-vibes spot that won’t shut down until almost 2 a.m., all are welcome to indulge in the fun and a massive, circular bar means you never wait too long for a drink.

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Newport Beach Brewing Company

3752, 2920 Newport Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92663

“Brew Co.” as it is affectionately called, stays open until 1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. It’s the only spot on Balboa Peninsula that makes its own beers onsite. The menu features a wide variety of home-brewed craft beer made using the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516 known in German as “Reinheitsgebot.” This means Brew Co.’s skilled brewmaster only uses three ingredients can be found on Brew Co.’s pure craft selections: barley, hops and water. And like the brews, on weekend nights, the crowd at Brew Co. is always hoppin’.

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Stag Bar + Kitchen

121 Mc Fadden Pl., Newport Beach, CA 92663 

A perennial millennial weekend favorite, Stag Bar will always have a line every weekend night that affords views of Blue Beet around the corner. Arrive before 10 p.m. to avoid it. On weekends, the pool tables are covered, the crowd gets louder and on-the-ball bouncers tell you where you can (and can’t) stand to keep people circulating until close around 2 a.m. There’s fun to be had here and everyone knows it.

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The Blue Beet

107 21st St. Pl., Newport Beach, CA 92663

Dark, narrow and vaguely reminiscent of a 1920s-style saloon, The Blue Beet is unlike any other establishment in Newport. Why? Because beyond its long, arc-shaped bar, you’ll find a stage, and on that stage you’ll find impressively talented bands that perform almost every single night of the week, every month of every year. If you arrive late on a weekend night, expect to pay a minimal cover (most nights, it’s $5) but the line moves almost as quickly as the dancing patrons inside. This tri-level bar also has a rooftop, with a cash-only bar sitting by the entrance to the small roof outside.

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