Dusk is a no nonsense type of bar and event venue that caters to indie rock and stiff drinks. Inside, it has that dark, Hollywood-type of dive feel, but the attention to detail goes beyond what you would find in a real 'dive.' For instance, a cocktail like the 'Dusk Manhattan' made with honey whiskey isn't created everywhere. Nonetheless, the club isn't that pretentious because you can still find old standbys like 'Gansett Lager in a can.
This nondescript little gem inside Olneyville Square is probably one of the best kept secrets in Providence. There is no sign above or placards to show you the door, but if you look for the shop with lingerie in the window, then you've found it. When you enter behind the curtain the bar takes you back nearly a century. But even better than the nostalgic 'Roaring Twenties' setting is the drink selection, all of their cocktails are made with premium liquor and fresh ingredients. Try the 'French 75', it's made with simple syrup, lemon juice, cognac and champagne. It's undoubtedly one of the best classic cocktails in the entire city.
In the Downcity area of Providence, there are plenty of bars to choose from, like the Dorrance, Congress Tavern and Union, however the spot for carefully crafted cocktails is The Eddy. Here, the focus behind the bar is on the cocktail, sure they have beer, but you would be remiss not to try the 'Dutch 75.' The drink is a nice take on the French version, only this one is made with Bols Gin, a homemade lemon cordial and Prosecco instead of Champagne. The beer and wine lists are equally creative and the bar snacks are even better than elsewhere, with options like pickles, crostini, small sandwiches and deviled eggs, it's no wonder the place is always packed.
The neighborhood of Federal Hill has plenty of good places to sidle up to the bar without breaking the bank. The E&O happens to be just one bar, where arcade games are still a quarter and local 'Gansett' is always served cold. For entertainment, E&O has a couple of pinball machines, a few TVs, some fun theme nights and always an eclectic mix of music. It is a small place, so get there early if you want a spot at the bar, otherwise you'll be shoulder-to-shoulder by the end of the night.
The Scurvy Dog is proud to serve strong drinks, loud music and eclectic eats in a relatively trend-free atmosphere. The Dog is located in historic Olneyville just west of downtown and though most are here for the potent beer and cocktails, the kitchen shouldn't be forgotten because it serves hot dogs and burgers with bizarre, tasty toppings. For instance, the 'Wiggety Waaah' comes with Nutella, bacon and Swiss cheese and the 'Red Light District' is made with raspberry jam and Swiss. When the weather allows, the back patio is a nice place to chill and take one of these fun-to-eat treats.
If you find yourself in the Fox Point neighborhood and are looking for a casual, fun, unpretentious place, The Point Tavern is just the spot. It is the quintessential neighborhood bar on Wickenden Street and it's actually located inside a residential house. The beer and wine list is small, but carefully curated and always filled with ever-changing selections. The kitchen also has a limited menu, but the pizza, sliders and quesadillas hit the spot with the right beer or wine.
This bar is hidden away in the bowels of Brown University deep in the basement of the Residential Life building. Unfortunately for the majority of the public, you can only get in if you are a current student at Brown, you are with someone who goes (or went) to Brown, or pay an annual membership fee. For those who opt to pay the fee, it's worth it because the drinks are remarkably cheaper than elsewhere and the Grad allows you to bring in your own food. Inside it definitely screams 'college', with banners everywhere, pool tables, board games and the obligatory dart board.
This club located in the neighborhood called Hope just north of College Hill is where clubbing is taken to a more elegant level. Tantric is a sleek, modern spot with Asian inspired elemental decor, with soft bamboo colored tones and a statue of Shiva behind the bar. It seems more boutique bar rather than nightclub because of the martinis served, but its massive dance floor still gives it credibility as a club. If you're in the Hope or Mt. Hope neighborhoods, it definitely merits a visit.