Lebanon with its reputation for tolerance and its well-known party atmosphere survived multiple conflicts for decades, but it still manages to hot its ranking as one of the best places for nightlife in the world.
In the 60s and 70s, Beirut was considered one of the world’s leading nightlife spots and achieved almost mythical status. It was a Mediterranean paradise full of nightclubs and bars where the elite of the society pages went to party at the time. It had a liberal atmosphere that gave it an air of freedom.
Even during the hard years of the war that started in the mid-70s and continued into the 90s, the Lebanese maintained their vibrancy and nocturnal playgrounds in the east of the city in places like Key Club, Mandalun and Jet Set. The west suffered more from bullets and mortars, but also managed to keep places like Mecano and Beachcomber open against the odds.
The story goes that even during the toughest times many people crossed the barricades and military posts, when the bombing subsided, to party all night until dawn. There are multiple stories known by all in the city that demonstrate Lebanon never gave up on its liberal and carefree spirit.
The situation today is not very different from any other street in a western capital where young people fill bars and cafes, tapping their feet and dancing to the latest international hits. Subway, Fuel Garage Bar, U-Mail Vox, Radio Music and International Bar are some of the places that have flourished in the old shops of Armenian craftspeople, mechanics garages and grocery stores. The Christian middle-class are probably the ones you see most out and about, with restaurants like Toto and Tavolino proving to be extremely popular among those wishing to savour European cuisine.
One of the top spots at the moment is the Train Station, a venue in an old train station that was abandoned after the war. A club where the party never stops, it has completely revived the street where it’s located, which was previously called Rio but now goes under the name Armenia. Several other places have flourished including exhibition halls, design and architecture workshops, and several centres for artistic creation. As in many other places nowadays, this entertainment interest has driven prices through the roof for renting venues, meaning many of the old neighbours, who were almost all Armenians, have had to leave their houses.
Beirut is a Mediterranean capital with an unwavering spirit that’s yours to enjoy with all the quality and services provided by Le Royal Beirut Hotel*****, a hotel with all the western standards and requirements that has managed to maintain the Arab charm and flavour for its guests to enjoy.