As is often the case with coastal towns, the nightlife in Southend-on-Sea can be pretty lively, so there are plenty of places to choose from, whether you prefer a raucous evening out or something a little more sophisticated.
Nightlife in Southend
Peggy Sue’s Music Bar & Diner in Leigh-on-Sea is a great place to start if you like to support local performers. This family-run venue presents live music six nights a week, with styles ranging from blues and country to reggae and rock. It also has happy hours, open mic nights and poetry and spoken word evenings. Peggy Sue’s hosts a social group called Battlelines, which aims to bring together music makers and music lovers from south Essex, as well as poets and creative thinkers. And every last Saturday of the month, there's a chance to see Howling Black Soul, which grew from a shared love of the music of Led Zeppelin, Cream, Jimi Hendrix and Black Sabbath.
There's a cracking atmosphere at Mawson's Micro Pub, where you can choose from one of a range of eight cask ales with the usual intriguing names like Wallasey Wench and Hop Monster, not to mention a dozen Belgian bottled beers and five ciders. It has a retro table arcade machine, quiz nights and live music to keep the vibe going as well.
The former Bellini Bar in Leigh-on-Sea has rebranded as the Oakleigh, and as you might suspect from its previous name, the emphasis is more on cocktails rather than real ale. It also has live music and a zingy food menu, including contemporary flavours such as lemony kale popcorn, Korean beef, grilled Padron peppers and prawn lollipops.
East Coast Social is a popular bar where the emphasis is on the social – in other words, what better way to get to know someone than over a drink or two? The East Coast promises hand-selected wines, craft beers and signature cocktails, while you can also eat there too. Steaks, burgers and smaller sharing plates are among the favourites.
One of the best-kept secrets in Southend is The Mews, which is tucked away in a quiet part of Clifftown. It's known first and foremost for its food, but the downstairs bar is an extremely cool place to visit in its own right. It offers an eclectic range of cocktails, from the traditional to the modern, plus its own Mews house specialities.
The Crooked Billet
If there's serious socialising to be done, then you'll find Southend-on-Sea is bursting at the seams with pubs of all kinds – so much so that we've put together a dedicated Southend pubs page to help you choose where to go.
Lucy Road is very much party road in Southend-on-Sea, with the two best-known clubs in the town conveniently located almost next door to each other. Talk has been going in various guises since 1973. Previously known as Talk of the South and ToTs 2000, it has undergone a refurbishment and currently opens every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Thursday nights feature pop and party classics, plus urban vibes with Dirty Love & XXL, while Friday is Free Party Friday night, with beats and bass plus R 'n' B and old skool. If you feel like pushing the boat out, you might fancy trying one of Talk's Fabulous Fruit Fishbowl cocktails, which come in mind-blowing flavours such as wapple and tromango.
Barely 100 yards away is Chameleon where regular nights include Monday Mayhem, Spank Wednesdays with geek and superhero themes, and Future Thrills on Saturdays. Depending on which night of the week it is, you can expect to be dancing to everything from club classics, hip-hop and grime to indie, metal and afrobeat. And as with Talk, there are VIP deals on offer, not to mention loads of other packages for parties and even designated drivers.