Nightlife

Location
Charlottesville, VA
Undergrads
14,928
Tuition (in-state)
$38,228 ($12,216)
Admission Difficulty
Hard
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Reviews

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3 College Junior

Nightlife: Many of the bars are too crowded. There are some good, more chill places though. Drinks are a bit expensive. It's easy to get in underage, especially if you're a girl.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Nightlife: There are buses to take you around at night but they take forever and they will all come together behind one another which is annoying. So I always walk. Gets crowded on the streets with people who live around here and aren't students.

3 College Freshman

Nightlife: Usually a frat party or two every night of the weekend, not my scene. Can't go to bars yet. No movie theaters in walking distance or easy bus access.

5 College Freshman

Nightlife: amazing nightlife, you can go out any day of the week, always something to do

2 College Freshman

Nightlife: There's always a grungy frat house you can go to if you want to get soaked with beer.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 47th
    Biggest Party Schools
  • 186th
    Best Drink Prices
  • 1326th
    Tamest Party Scenes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Haley Bryant
Hometown
London, UK
Major
Media Studies
View all previous student authors

There is hardly a club scene in Charlottesville. There is Club 216 off the Downtown Mall, and then there is whatever Washington, D.C., has to offer, which is 2 1/2 hours away. Recently, the No. 3 Bar and Restaurant has opened up its doors on every night of the week, offering a dance party/club-like experience that many students enjoy. It is nothing like a big city club, but it gives students a place to hang out, drink, and shake their booties with their friends. The bars that students frequent are, for the most part, located along the Corner. They are fairly easy to get into and lots of fun. There are plenty of special drink nights that students soon memorize at virtually all the bars along the Corner. Sometimes these bars feel just like the frat parties, though, simply transplanted into a bar setting. The bars along the Downtown Mall seem more grown-up and “real.” They are a refreshing break from the frat parties or the Corner bars. These bars tend to attract (cute) grad students and are a great place to go for a strong martini and a fun flirt. In addition, there are almost always parties within the different organizations and activities that people join—for some students, these make for the best times.

The typical evolution of a student’s nightlife entertainment is to go to frat parties or organization parties for the first two years and then to hit up bars along the Corner later on. This is not to say that upperclassmen don’t attend frat and organization parties—it just happens less frequently. Try out a bunch of different scenes to see what fits you best, and be open to new experiences. This way, no matter how confined and monotonous Charlottesville nightlife seems to be, you’ll have tried it all and gotten the most out of it.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • The Corner
  • The Downtown Mall
Student Favorites
  • Baja Bean
  • Biltmore Grille
  • Boylan Heights
  • Club 216
  • Coupe DeVille's
  • Mellow Mushroom
  • Miller's
  • St. Maarten's Café
  • The Virginian
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer pong
  • Card games
  • Flip Cup
  • Kings
  • Never Have I Ever
  • Power Hour
Useful Resources for Nightlife
  • The Hook Magazine
  • www.dailyprogress.com
  • www.virginiamusicflash.com/vmf/charlottclubs.htm
Closing Time
2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Biltmore Grill on Tuesdays Buddhist Biker Bar & Grill on Thursdays Coupe's and Boylan Heights on Mondays
Organization Parties
There are plenty of organization parties at UVA, especially since Virginia students are so big on being involved and active with the organizations that they care about. Some of the organizations are particularly known for their parties: First Year Players (FYP), University Guides, any a cappella groups’ parties, and the Cavalier Daily. These parties are open to members of the organization and usually friends of members. Fraternities and sororities also have date functions, semi-formals, and formals besides their regular parties that are generally a blast, considering how much money is put into them.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

Star Hill Restaurant & Brewery

This is more of a live-music club than a dancing club, located right across from the train station, between the Corner and the Downtown Mall. Supposedly owned by William Faulkner's grandsons, Star Hill has somewhat replaced an old town favorite, Traxx, where the likes of incredible musicians (Tim Reynolds, Dave Matthews, and Elliot Smith) used to play. Norah Jones and Dispatch, among many other talented artists, have played here in the last year. Buy tickets in advance or at the door.

709 Main St. W.

(434) 977-0017

Escafe

This is a great little restaurant/café (see the off-campus dining section)-very hip and trendy. Late night, it turns into somewhat of a club scene. There are raves, discos, and dancing Thursdays and some weekends. Door admission.

Downtown Mall

(434) 295-8668

Club 216

Hours: Friday-Saturday 10 p.m.-5 a.m. This is Charlottesville's only gay and lesbian bar/dance club (and its only club, period). It is really very fun, but unfortunately, you need to be a member or know a member to get in. Occasionally, there will be open Saturdays where anyone can get in for $12.

218 W. Water St.

(434) 296-8783

www.club216.com

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Mellow Mushroom

1321 W. Main St.

(434) 972-9366

www.mellowmushroom.com

Biltmore Grill

16 Elliewood Ave.

(434) 293-6700

Baja Bean Co. Restaurante

1327 W. Main St.

(434) 293-4507

www.bajabean.com

Boylan Heights

Boylan Heights, more commonly called Norbitz by it's frequenters, is a huge (for Charlottesville), 2 story bar that features regular live music and DJs. They are harder on ID than some other bars on the Corner, but if you can get in it is worth it; ask for the Tsunami/Tidal Wave shooter at the bar.

102 14th St. NW

(434) 984-5707

boylan-heights.com

Coupe DeVille's

Known fondly to UVA students simply at Coupe's, this is another location to get your drink and mingle on. Typically known as a "first year bar" because they are notoriously easy on ID, many students come back through their four years at school. There is awesome live music, late night burger's that they serve up fresh for $1 each, and great drink specials every night of the week.

9 Elliewood Ave.

(434) 977-3966

Michael's Bistro

One of the few great-quality restaurants along the Corner, Michael's Bistro is also a fun bar that features some good live music, ranging from jazz, blues, funk, and folk. Most shows are free.

1427 University Ave.

(434) 977-3697

www.skylinemall.com/bistro/

Miller's

This is an old Charlottesville fixture, a well-known blues and jazz venue. Famous for a little-known struggling artist named Dave Matthews who used to bartend there to make rent. A very popular, laid-back bar that is almost always crowded and smoky. Thursday nights are jazz nights, featuring the area's brilliant jazz musicians like John D'Earth and company. There is door admission of $3-$5.

109 W. Main St.

(434) 971-8511

www.millersdowntown.com

No. 3

Recently re-modeled and re-named, this old favorite now features a lot of live music all week long. Very dark, very smokey, very loud, and mostly very crowded, this atmosphere can sometimes get too stifling. Generally, this scene adopts a particular, loyal following among students.

1517 University Ave.

(434) 984-4653

St. Marteen's Café

Students who want to just sit around in a booth, eat cheese fries late at night, and drink exotic (often dirty-sounding) drinks that they've never heard of before love to come to St. Marteen's.

1400 Wertland St.

(434) 293-2233

The Virginian

An old fixture of the UVA/Charlottesville community-though very cramped and noisy, students still love to come here. There's a drink special almost every night.

1521 University Ave.

Charlottesville

(434) 984-4667

What to Do if You're Not 21What's This?

Even if you're not 21, it is very easy to get a hold of some alcohol-either at frat parties or organization parties. Sometimes, there is even a bit of drinking in the dorms, though this is strictly prohibited. Of course, there are plenty of other things to do, as well: movies, ice-skating, bowling, concerts, eating, and hanging out with friends. Also check out:

Prism Coffeehouse

Features folk, bluegrass, and international acts and music on tour. Eccentric, cozy, old, white house stuck in the middle of frat row. It's closed during the summer months.

214 Rugby Rd.

Charlottesville

(434) 977-7476

Student Polls

What's the best way to get to the popular nightlife spots?    Based on 80 responses

  • 0% There are no good options.
  • 10% Use a designated driver.
  • 26% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 14% Public transportation.
  • 2% Taxis.
  • 48% Walk.

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 69 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Convenience to get to
  • Cover charges
  • Distance from campus
  • Drink prices
  • Fun
  • Variety/number of options

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 80 responses

  • 5% Parties? What parties?
  • 4% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 14% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 66% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 11% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 10 responses

  • 40% Lighting of the Lawn
  • 30% Block party/midsummers/foxfield
  • 20% Foxfield
  • 10% Halloween parties

Where can you find the best parties?    Based on 9 responses

  • 67% Rugby Rd or around 14th St.
  • 33% Not liking frat parties, I'd say join clubs.

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