In addition to our illustrious dining and dining offerings, Houston has one of the liveliest nightlife scenes in the country. Post-pandemic-era club and bar openings have flooded areas like East Downtown with the emergence of warehouses-turned-dancing hubs. Each has distinct design features, from the neon maximalism of Paradise Palace to the extravagant outdoor pool amenities of Sekai Night and Day.
If you’re looking for a downtown adventure or need a fun weekend night out on Washington Ave, stop by one of these Houston hotspots.
Hailing from north Austin, the Union Venture Group has created nightlife concepts throughout Texas, but 77° is a special addition to the Houston market. Its name refers to the “optimal cocktail temperature”, which the club tries to maintain so you can enjoy their specialty drinks like Grape Expectations (made with crushed white grapes), Namaste (perfect for cocktail lovers green tea) and the Ruby Slipper. (hello, blood orange).
As the flagship location of the eponymous hotel group, this Midtown hotspot is a great time, every time. The nightclub isn’t your typical dimly lit venue with music to accompany – it’s a full sensory experience. The indoor-outdoor dual club is complete with a huge pool, daybeds and VIP cabanas outside, while the indoors has an impressive bustling dance floor with neon lights adorning the walls and ceilings, three different bars and chill out areas. What makes Key so special, however, is that the nightclub speaks to all that makes Houston the most diverse city in the country by acknowledging all niches of music culture, not just one sound. Famous DJs from all over the country (and all genres) come to play the best of EDM, dubstep, rock, hip-hop, and more.
Babylon has landed in Houston and is already off to a controversial start. (Its midsummer opening caused a stir because of the live exotic animals on display outside the building.) The Middle Eastern-themed nightclub promises the perceived flair and theater of the historic Mesopotamian city without the travel in the required time. The interior is filled with ornate decor, from sofas to richly colored walls to garish gold trim. Babylon is also not lacking in entertainment with belly dancers, fire artists and a variety of musical genres.
At first glance, Heart is just another Key Group concept with bottle service and sectional reservations, but the Washington Corridor space has an electrifying aura that’s quite unique from its sister clubs. Coincidentally, Heart is located at heart from the entertainment district, and upon entering you are greeted with a high octane environment, and the experience is enlightening. At Heart, bottle service means you’re greeted by waitresses carrying sparkling champagne and confetti cannons. Depending on the package, a waitress may be performed on a miniature jeep with your name in light.
miami vice meets ancient Greece at Houston’s hottest new dance club, Paradise Palace. It’s the brainchild of Brian Almaraz and Cole Evans, the minds behind Austin’s beloved Coconut Complex (Coconut Club, Neon Grotto, Cuatro Gato). With the help of Andréas Hernández-Garza, they introduced a much-needed disruption to Bayou City’s nightlife. After the permanent closure of the Los Angeles-based EightyTwo arcade bar on the same site, Paradise Palace initiated a total transformation: a neon collage on the facade, interior pillars, intricate lighting designs and a DJ booth all star. This dance hub is free of bottle service and VIP sections, instead emphasizing the work of talented local DJs and the preservation of underrated music genres like house, disco, and more.
Bringing new life to the space formerly occupied by Proof Bar, Rise Rooftop is another Midtown offering, dubbed Houston’s “first rooftop music venue.” The club spans 13,000 square feet and revelers can enjoy a diverse selection of live music. If the weather is nice, the facility retracts the roof for a cool breeze to complete the quirky vibe. Rise is one of Houston’s most eclectic nightclubs, and the music isn’t the rooftop venue’s only star attraction. Expect everything from live concerts to burlesque shows and dance parties (think Shrek-thematic raves and performances by masked DJs).
Named after its founders, Sekai Hospitality, Sekai Night and Day is open all weekend for day birds and night owls. This megaclub spans more than 26,000 square feet and includes a tiled outdoor pool and cabanas, multiple full-service bars, an indoor dance floor, and lounges. It’s known for its weekly pool parties, dramatic aesthetic (courtesy Egyptian design firm Studio Five), spacious terrace, and atrium. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday or just want to party, Sekai Night and Day is a must for a luxury VIP experience.
After being on hiatus since 2018 to undergo a complete makeover, Houston’s queer wonderland is finally back, and it’s better than ever. South Beach 2.0 will wow you with its chic new interiors, which can perhaps best be described as Miami Vice meets Restoration Hardware. While you’ll want to come to South Beach for its historically stiff drinks, you’ll likely stay for its fog-spraying ice jets, which have the power to obscure any dodgy dance moves resulting from those stiff drinks. Ice jets also provide great cover for a stolen kiss or two, or so we were told.
The quaint building at the corner of San Jacinto and McIlhenny streets might not make the average passer-by stop in daylight, but at night…it comes alive. Space – yes, a nod to our town’s nickname – is a bustling Vegas-themed nightclub. You’re sure to see some of the hottest rap and hip-hop artists at this EaDo venue, along with a handful of influencers and trend setters. Without a doubt, Space’s liveliest night is the weekly event dubbed, Private Saturdays. Some of the personalities who have appeared there include Drake, DaBaby, Demetrius Flenory Jr. and Houston’s own Jas Prince.
Another indoor-outdoor offering from Sekai Hospitality, Wyld Chld rocked the Washington Avenue strip. It’s a boutique nightclub that occupies the warehouse that once belonged to Benjy Levit of Houston Local Foods. Open exclusively on weekends, Wyld Chld offers a spacious 1,000 square foot rooftop and an extensive cocktail menu.
Torn between staying home and watching anime or going out for a drink? Carson Hager of Hospitable Viking’s second downtown club concept has the answer. Zenaku is a multi-story anime-inspired nightclub featuring eclectic cocktails, immersive lighting, and moving image projections. It is perfect for its unique theme, varied music and innovative execution.