Armenians love the nightlife, they love to boogie.
Or at least to sit and see how long a cheap cup
of coffee can last as summertime entertainment.
Here, the day seems to begin at night, as cafes
start to fill up at sunset and some bars, discos
and show clubs keep the beat until nearly dawn.
There are way too many to list. Below are a few
that might give you a glimpse of how Yerevan's
beautiful people enjoy themselves when they're
not home doing those traditional things for which
they are more famous.
cafe culture can choose from more than 400
cafes in the center alone..
Five years ago, there were less than 200 cafes
in the center of Yerevan. As of last summer, there
were 406. Even more have been added this summer.
If you go out in mid-evening, expect to wait
for a table, as the city's apartments empty under
the umbrellas and pavilions of so many (but with
business for more) outdoor drinking and eating
Over the past two seasons, billiards (both American
and Armenian) have become a popular addition to
the café menu.
A relatively new addition to the Yerevan nightlife
scene, Bravo is located on Kochar Street (just
up from the Hayastan Market, near Komitas). The
three-tier club offers restaurants (one featuring
traditional Armenian food) on two floors and soon
will open a third room for jazz.
If you want to feel like Indiana Jones in the
Temple of Doom or if you want to be carried away
to the ruins of Mayan tribes somewhere in Mexico,
the tropical hall of Bravo restaurant is the best
place to go. The hall features live entertainment
and is best enjoyed when its five-guitar, one-flute
Latino music ensemble is playing.
opened last fall and is Yerevan's biggest
and one of the most popular discos.
If you like to dance and if where you're dancing
is important for you, Astral is your place. A
750 square meters disco club right next to the
Opera House, deep under the ground, very nicely
decorated and designed, with a lot of space to
dance and show how good you are without hitting
your elbows into someone else dancing right next
Monte Cristo disco
An intimate (read: crowded) disco on Vazgen Sargsyan
Street, Monte Cristo is famed as Yerevan's most
"liberated" hot spot.
Here, under the French restaurant of the same
name, gays are welcomed to the mix - a courtesy
severely lacking in "mainstream" Armenia
Crowds of several persuasions and ages have made
Monte Cristo a favorite for the past two years
among people who feel at home banging elbows with
a diverse group.
club has been offering dance and cabaret shows
for seven years.
This Baghramian Street nightclub might be considered
Yerevan's "last man standing" among
such establishments, as it has maintained a steady
business for at least seven years.
Previously known as a "strip club",
the dancers (men and women) there wore skimpy
costumes, but there was no nudity. As real strip
clubs came to town, Pioneer changed its program
to offer a variety show which features some of
Armenia's most popular singers, including Forsh
Some evenings after midnight, there are showgirls
who strip in the club's renovated hall, where
walls and high-backed booths have been removed,
making for an open-space stage.
For those who've never been to Armenia and every
mental picture is of ancestors in one or another
tradition, customs, habits
this will come
as some surprise: Yes, there are strip clubs in
Yerevan. Very sophisticated ones, though as the
number grows, the quality decreases.
And, yes, there are Armenian girls dancing in
those strip clubs, though the number of Russian
dancers usually dominates.
One of the classiest and most popular is Club
Omega, on Terian Street. Until about midnight,
the club offers a cabaret of local singers, suitable
for the whole family. Later, girls dance topless
for patrons (men and women seem comfortable there)
who discretely reward them with folded drams or
dollars. (Oddly, perhaps, one of the most popular
dancers does not strip, but in fact does a very
vigorous and seductive belly dance.)
The club is in a basement and patrons are welcomed
to large and plush booths under soft green lighting
and an atmosphere where life - except for semi-nude
girls twisting around poles on a catwalk - seems
to be in slow motion.