Clematis Street Bars
The Clematis Street and City Place districts have a large number of bars and nightclubs within close proximity of each other. Although I don't frequent these places on weekend evenings, I decided to walk around the area from 10 PM to 11:30 PM on several Saturday evenings in the fall of 2009 to see where the most activity was.
There is a huge collection of successful bars/nightclubs concentrated in the 200/300 blocks of Clematis Street, and then another huge collection of successful bars/nightclubs concentrated on the second level at City Place off Rosemary Avenue, along with a smaller collection of bars/nightclubs in between these two main locations on the 500 block of Clematis Street. In summary, there are three main hubs of activity.
I will not attempt to mention every single bar or nightclub. Instead, I'm just going to mention places where I consistently saw large crowds of people drinking and partying along with loud music at around 11 PM on Saturday night. Most of these places are restaurants during the day serving both lunch and dinner, and then convert into a nightclub atmosphere later in the evening.
In the 200/300 block of Clematis Street, there were six places with huge crowds, noise, and music around 11 PM on Saturday evenings (from east to west): Dr. Feelgoods/Monarchy/Lost Weekend, Rocco's Tacos, Reef Road & Rum Bar, Forte Clematis, Roxy's, and Ultra Lounge. Of those six, only Dr. Feelgoods and Ultra Lounge operate exclusively as nightclubs without the daytime restaurant component. All six were hopping on Saturday nights, especially the area around Dr. Feelgoods/Reef Road & Rum Bar/Rocco's Tacos.
In the 500 block of Clematis Street, there were three places with crowds, noise, and music around 11 PM on Saturday evenings (from east to west): The Lounge, Respectable Street, and O'Shea's Irish Pub. Of those three, The Lounge and Respectable Street operate exclusively as nightclubs without the daytime restaurant component. O' Shea's gets the prize for the most activity, on Saturdays and most other days of the week as well.
On the second level at City Place, there were six places with huge crowds, noise, and music around 11 PM on Saturday evenings (from north to south): Blue Martini, Wet Willies/Captain Briens, Taverna Opa, Carousel Can Can Cafe, City Cellar, and the outside separate bar between City Cellar and Brewzzi's. None of these six places operate exclusively as nightclubs (they are all daytime restaurants as well). The prize for the most activity goes to Taverna Opa, right in the middle, but all of these places were really hopping as well.
A lot of people take the trolley to get from the hotbed of activity in City Place to the hotbed of activity on the 200/300 blocks of Clematis Street, or vice versa. But it's really not a very long walk (6 blocks) and if you walk, you will also encounter the myriad of places in between, most notably the Clematis Street 500 block clubs and the quaint but rocking Hibiscus House on Rosemary Avenue.
All in all, the nightlife in downtown West Palm Beach seems to be very active and there appear to be at least 16 establishments that are thriving at this time of night, despite being in the middle of The Great Recession.