Yerevan Night Life
I just realized I enjoy clubbing more now than I have for a long time. It’s almost like when I was in my early twenties, when I’d just moved to Amsterdam; checking out new clubs, doing pub-crawls, and gathering groups of friends for all nighters.
I still really like to go dancing when I’m out. When I’m dancing I’m having fun, and when I’m having fun I start dancing.
I guess the main difference is the frequency with which I go out. Instead of every week, now I’m lucky to dance in a club once a month—and even that's a stretch.
The first year I was in Yerevan I wasn’t sure if there were other embassy women like me; moms who like to take a night “off” and let loose a little. Turns out: pretty much every mom here likes to do that. We don’t have any problem getting a group together.
So where-o-where do we go to party? Well, the list of places is growing as we continue exploring. This is what we got so far:
Address: 17 Marshal Baghramyan Ave.
Probably everyone’s current favorite place is Club 11. You can’t find it without having the address because it’s located in a dark and unremarkable house located just a few buildings over from the national parliament. The Saturday night I went there I paid an AMD 1,500 entrance fee.
It’s a small to medium-sized club: half tables, half dance floor. The music is an interesting mix of old and new genres. The crowd is not too young, which is great. Guys may pull you on to the dance floor for a little tête-a-tête, and the good news is that some are decent dancers.
Address: 1 Marshal Baghramyan Ave.
In the summer, the opera hotel has a great rooftop café that’s perfect for lounging, drinking cocktails, and doing a little bit of dancing. It’s a bit of an upscale place where they do things like “foam parties” and “dress in white” nights. I heard it’s closed in winter, though.
Address: 3 Abovyan Street
The first club I went to in Yerevan was Paparazzi. I got worried when I walked in—through very dingy hallways—at midnight and I found an empty dance floor and very outdated leather furniture. Within an hour, however, I was on a full dance floor having a great time.
Address: 3 Marshal Baghramyan Ave.
Located between 44 Sky and Club 11 there’s club Nine. Like Club 11 it’s a basement bar with a good dance floor, and I heard the music is better. Apparently, well-known DJs from around the region play here, mostly house and techno.
CALUMET ETHNIC LOUNGE BAR
Address: 56a Pushkin Street
There’s frequent live music in Calumet, which is otherwise an eccentric but unpretentious cafe that’s very lively and perfect for lounging on sofas or hanging around the bar. It’s one of those places you might run into some expats or other bi-cultural types and strike up a conversation.
WILD WEST BAR
Address: 25 Tumanyan Street
Dingy, loud, and live music is probably the best way to describe the Wild West bar. It’s very low-key; friends of mine perform there sometimes with their band Dead Walking.
Address: 60 Pushkin Street
Favorite hangout for many people I know—especially guy friends—for pub food and late-night drinking. It’s a relatively small cafe and has live music several nights each week.
Address: 9b Ghazar Parpetsi Street
Relaxed vibe and occasional live music. It’s not particularly fancy but it’s popular (I once spotted the son of the Prime Minister having a beer with a TV personality I knew through work).
Address: 1a Tumanyan street
Cool underground café, very smoky, located close to the Cascades.
Address: 29/4 Moskovyan
Pahest was recommended to me both as a restaurant and as a club; looking at their facebook site it’s a good-looking place that occasionally organizes dj’ed parties. Reportedly, after dinner the tables are moved out of the way to create a space for dancing.
One question that always comes up is: where are the latin bars? So far, I’ve got three answers, but none of them are very good. Amigos (41/4 Abovyan Street) is a bar where the level of latin dancing is very high–it’s not a club. Yankee pub (3 Sayat-Nova) is a dingy café with weekly latin nights, although the dance space is tiny. Otherwise, the only thing to do is to look for Latin themed nights; especially during the summer there are bars that organize them (I went to an especially nice one in Hotel Paris once).
Yerevan is also well known for its many jazz clubs. Armenians love jazz, for some reason. Places I tried out include Mezzo, Buro, and Malhass. I think the experience depends much on the night. Malhass is quite famous and I’m sure it can be great, but when I was there on a Saturday night there was nothing going on. Buro is a good-looking bar but, the night I was there, the music was boring. Mezzo was the most fun for me, although the band was hardly “jazz”—they were basically a very good cover band.
STILL ON MY LIST:
Pub 37 – Address: 37 Mesrop Mashtots Ave
Friends pub – Address: 49 Pushkin
Stop club – Address: Moskovyan 37
Club 12 – Address: 91 Teryan Street