Whether you want to dance the night away, kick back and listen to live music, enjoy a dinner show, or simply be part of a lively crowd, there's a wide variety of choices for nightlife in Sonoma County.
Here – in alphabetical order – are 10 great spots to check out, plus a bonus choice. Call ahead or visit each location's website for details about live music performances, dance club nights, and special events.
328 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, 707-433-8720
Filled with recycled furniture (such as elementary-school chairs converted into bar stools) and eclectic art, this popular spot serves international wines by the glass and bottle, as well as local and craft beers. There's live music every Tuesday, movies every Monday evening, and ping pong and other games; during the week, vinyl records are played on a stereo. Food (including upscale grilled cheese sandwiches) is served daily from 5 p.m. to closing; the menus are on record album covers.
Blue Heron Restaurant & Tavern
25300 Steelhead Blvd., Duncans Mills, 707-865-2261
This rustic tavern offers live music six nights a week in a casual and historic restaurant setting, plus music on the garden patio on Sunday afternoons, May to September. The menu features tasty American and pub fare; dinner is served nightly and lunch is offered on Saturdays and Sundays; a kids menu is available.
Christy's on the Square
9 Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa, 707-528-8565
This nightclub offers a chance to dance and party in a relatively elegant setting in the heart of downtown Santa Rosa. The bay windows offer views of the historic Courthouse Square and the lively activity on 4th Street. Entertainment varies from DJs to live jazz. The club serves cocktails (some are offered seasonally) as well as a variety of microbrews and beers on tap.
Flamingo - The Lounge
2777 4th St., Santa Rosa, 707-545-8530
Many guests wear evening attire in the retro lounge at this landmark resort (check out the blast-from-the-past pink flamingo at the top of the entrance sign). The live music might be a ballroom dance band, salsa group, a night of bossa nova, local artists performing original music, and more. A variety of beers are on tap, and happy hour drinks and appetizers are available Monday to Thursday.
Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol and Sonoma
230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol, 707-829-7300
691 Broadway, Sonoma, 707-935-9100
With a total of three locations in the North Bay, this small local brewery chain boasts two of its sites in Sonoma County. Hopmonk occupies a rustic 105-year-old stone and timber building in Sebastopol, and a private home built in 1888 in Sonoma. Both sites offer a beer garden, live music (sometimes indoors, sometimes outdoors), and moderately priced menus that offer traditional and innovative pairings of beer and food.
McNears Mystic Theater and McNears Saloon & Dining House
23 Petaluma Blvd. North, Petaluma, 707-765-2121
The stated goal of these two locally owned businesses is to provide a meeting, entertainment, and eating spot for the enjoyment of locals and fun-loving visitors. They are two of many companies housed in this 1911 building. The saloon is a live music concert venue with a full bar, presenting an eclectic variety of sounds, including all types of rock, funk, blues, roots, reggae, ska, Western swing, and more. The restaurant features traditional but innovative American cuisine, with dishes like pork lovers’ mac 'n cheese, BBQ tri-tip, and the Moroccan-spiced brick chicken fettuccine.
Patterson's Pub & Grill
9057 Windsor Road, Windsor, 707-838-7821
This traditional Irish pub features a full bar with distilled spirits, wine, and 21 beers on tap, plus 12 big-screen TVs. The menu offers healthy versions of comfort pub food (like fish and chips), with lunch and dinner served daily, plus Sunday brunch.
Ruth McGowan's Brew Pub-Cloverdale Ale Company
131 E. 1st St., Cloverdale, 707-795-7878
On tap at this comfortable brewpub you'll find a selection of house-made beers, crafted to please a variety of tastes. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights the pub presents live music covering a variety of genres, including jazz, blues, country, Latin, roots, rockabilly, standards, original music, and more. An acoustic jam session is held the first and third Thursdays. The daily menu features creative pub grub.
8210 Old Redwood Highway, Cotati, 707-795-7878
Enjoy jazz, blues, funk, soul, and more at this small bar in Cotati. There's live music almost every night, and you can dance to a DJ on Thursday evenings. Amenities include pool tables, a juke box, craft beers, and outdoor patio seating.
Twin Oaks Roadhouse
5475 Old Redwood Highway, Penngrove, 707-795-5118
Open for close to 100 years, this honky-tonk juke joint was bought by Hopmonk Tavern owner Dean Biersch in December 2015. He changed the name from Twin Oaks Tavern to Twin Oaks Roadhouse, remodeled the outdoor patio, and added a full live music schedule, but also pledged to keep the place true to its honky-tonk traditions. Twin Oaks continues to offer a full service bar and a basic American cuisine menu.
Of course, it's hard to limit a list of top nightlife spots to just 10, so here is a bonus suggestion:
Graton Resort & Casino
288 Gold Course Drive W., Rohnert Park, 707-588-7100
This full-amenity gaming resort offers specialty drinks in three settings — the G sports bar with more than 42 flat screen TVs; the 8, a VIP lounge providing a semi-private and elegant atmosphere in the high-limit area; and the Sky, with a 360-degree, diamond-shaped center bar. Dining choices include casual dining in three restaurants, and a food court with seven eateries.
Looking for a place to spend the night? Check out our hotel listings here: Hotels & Lodging
Written by Patricia Lynn Henley