A nationally known music hall, Toad’s Place (300 York St., 203/624-8623, www.toadsplace.com ) attracts names that range from unheard-of to huge (the Rolling Stones kicked off their tour on its stage in 1989). An ever-rotating roster of music (from reggae and pop to techno DJs and blues) keeps the scene fresh.
With three bars (one juice-only) and an enormous waterfall near the dance floor, it’s little wonder Alchemy Nightclub (223 College St., 203/777-9400) is packed nearly every night it’s open. Undergrads, grad students, and twentysomething yups come to dance, flirt, or play pool in three separate rooms: a hip-hop room, a house dance floor (complete with 30-foot wide waterfall) and a more chilled-out lounge room.
Even more sedate schmoozing is the name of the game at The Playwright (144 Temple St., 203/752-0450, www.playwrightirishpub.com ), a downtown Irish pub lined with gleaming woods and a wide, friendly bar filled with young professionals, construction workers, and (depending on the night) everyone in between.