The best clubs in Boston
When the Roxy's shabby sort of elegance became just plain shabbiness, new ownership took over to revamp the entire interior, renaming the space Royale. The massive room has a grand stage, an elegant marble foyer, cushy seating nooks, a fantastic sound system, a festive light show and more bustier-wearing bartenders than you can shake a glowstick at. There are VIP balconies if you feel like getting away from it all—but Boston clubs rarely reach the size of this place, so why not take the opportunity to get lost? The DJ spins house/dance on weekend nights, while hipper-than-thou promoters Bowery Boston (yes, the Hub's own branch of the much-loved Bowery group in NYC) bring in a diverse range of indie and mainstream rock, pop and hip-hop throughout the week.
Though the DJs spin the best vintage hip-hop, classic electro and underground dance, and while the clientele has been known to kick off their shoes and fill the floor, Middlesex is still more of a lounge than a full-blown nightclub. The room is filled with little metal benches on wheels that can be artfully arranged to accommodate even the most disorganised of parties, enabling the space to transform to suit laidback hipster hangouts, MIT tech nerd power lunches or downtown hip hop heads that form the sidewalk queue each weekend night.
The name has changed, but the song remains the same. The cul-de-sac of clubbery that is Boylston Place is a reliable hot spot on weekends, and the Estate (formerly Mansion) holds its own as the strip's largest space. Hip hop and mashups make up the bulk of the playlist, and the interior boasts lots of leather, fireplaces and balconies.
One of several spots that have helped to drag downtown Boston out of late-night wasteland, Good Life caters to many different scenes. On a given night, the DJs may be spinning top-40 hits, underground hip hop, Latin remixes or cutting-edge electro music. Don't like the scene upstairs? Head down to the more intimate subterranean lounge area.