Bar: Capital Ale House, Innsbrook
Who: Ronald Simms Jr., 39
Drinking: Coke and root beer.
Purpose: "This is my first time here," he says. "We're actually here celebrating our bowling team." The team, Chicken and Pancakes, saved for a night out.
Bar: Bailey's Smokehouse & Tavern, West End
Who: Drew Weis, 28, and Monte Mayfield, 28.
Drinking: "I'm a Bud draft," Mayfield says. "I think he's on Bud Light. Normally we're Heffeveisen guys. Normally a Blue Moon, Shock Top, something like that."
How long: Since 1 p.m. Stopping by after watching a bikini contest at Quaker Steak and Lube up the street. "These guys take us close to home. We're Lakesidians," Mayfield says.
"Born and raised, baby," Weis interjects.
"Good times, good people, good vibes overall," Mayfield says. "No trouble here."
Postscript: They are spotted later, around 1 a.m., in Shockoe Slip.
- 10:38 p.m.- The band 3 Bad Men keeps the crowd rocking at McCook's Lakeside Sports Grill.
Bar: The Republic
At your service: Heather Dixon, Shari Schaefer, bar manager Natalie Weaver, Stephanie Mackey, Lauren Parker and Jess Erwin.
Favorite part of Richmond nightlife: "I like that you can pretty much go anywhere and find someone that you know, or a bartender that you know," says Weaver, 26. "It's kind of like a nice, neat little family. Richmond bartenders hang tight together — it's like a big family."
Bar: Bandito's Burrito Lounge
Who: Allen Estes, 27
The occasion: He's getting married in a week. The bachelor party started earlier this morning at the beach in Yorktown. It's kicking off in Richmond here, two blocks from his house.
Drinking: Corona with lime. "I normally load 'em up with tequila," Estes says, "but they don't do that in Virginia."
Song playing in the background: "Ice, Ice Baby."
On the vibe here: "Young crowd, old crowd, everybody's mixed in, having a good time."
Favorite thing about Richmond nightlife: "Probably the VCU females."
"Are you marrying one of them?" we ask.
"Actually my fiancee went to Randolph-Macon."
"Are you gonna get in trouble for that?
"Nah, I'll be all right."
- 11:09 p.m. - At the Cellar Door, Dead by Dawn - a triumvirate of DJs Beat Down the Kid, Hoyt and A.D.E.N - are host to a night they call Richmahton! They're playing a mix of moombahton, electro and dub till 2 a.m.
- 11:23 p.m. - The sweeping patio, with its outdoor bar, fills up at Baja Bean Co. in the Fan.
Who: Brenda Galvez, 22, with friend Ritchie Math, 23, in the background.
What brought her here: Visiting from Northern Virginia. "I come at least once a month," Galvez says. She's moving here soon to go to Virginia Commonwealth University.
Drinking: Cranberry and vodka, Long Island iced tea. "Those are my two favorite."
Favorite thing about Richmond nightlife: "deLux, really."
On the scene: "It's really chill here. Nobody really cares about anything. ... You can be yourself, and still nobody cares. So I mean, it's really relaxed. And I love that about Richmond."
Bar: Babe's of Carytown
Who: Ashley Saxon, 23
Drinking: Miller Lite with a lime.
What's with the two bottles? "I like to be prepared. Why not? I like to hang outside."
On Richmond nightlife: "I would say it's up and coming. It's summer right now, so people are here for good. When you have people from school and stuff that are here, it completely changes. I feel like in the summertime though, it's all real. Everyone's here to have a good time."
- 12:12 a.m. - DJ Epoc plays host to Clubluv night at New York Deli in Carytown.
- 12:31 a.m.- "You guys are delicious, by the way." --J.B. Jeter, lead singer of the Recliners, after belting out "New York, New York" on the stage at the Tobacco Company in Shockoe Slip.
- 12:38 a.m. - Off the Hookah
Bar: Off the Hookah
Who: Mehdi Tergou, 25, and Miguel Joseph, 25
What you're doing here: Both work as promoters for the bar. "I just moved out here from New York," Joseph says, "but I think this is probably the best bar out here. Lot of people, lot of fun."
Drinking: Cranberry and vodka.
On Richmond nightlife: "Honestly, it's smooth, if that makes sense. Everybody can get along over here and have fun, especially in this bar."
- 12:56 a.m. - Sabrina Osman, 21, at Dora's Brazilian Grill in the Slip, where the doors are wide open.
Bar: Cha Cha's Cantina
Who: Joe Thurston, 24
What he's doing: Not drinking. Watching a bustling outdoor patio as a bouncer, a job he's held here for about a year.
On this bar: "You have every type of person here, it's just great. Everyone's mingling together. You don't have nearly as many fights as you would have at any other place. It's just fun that everyone can actually come together and actually enjoy time at all different walks of life."
How to describe Richmond nightlife to someone: "Just tell them it's awesome. It's wonderful, that's it. Beautiful women, beautiful people. There you go."
- 1:08 a.m. - Serving from a bar that wraps around them, bartenders (from upper left) Taylor Radkte, Talya Tacosa, Camille Kostin and Richie Masters start dancing during the Tini Temptress Cocktail Party at the Lucky Buddha.
Last call: 1:45 a.m.
Bar: The Forest Restaurant in Westover Hills
Who: Chase Nelson, 26
Drinking: "Mostly High Life. But they have a shot here I've never heard of before, it's called Applesauce. Fucking amazing."
Why are you here? "I've been to like eight different bars since I've been here in the past three weeks, and this is the only one that makes me feel like home, I guess. All the people are cool. The tab's not too expensive. It works out pretty good for everyone."
What do you think of nightlife here since moving from Fairfax? "Everybody's on an even keel. Everybody's cool. There's no discrimination or shit like that. It's a good place to be."
Song playing in the background: "You've Lost That Loving Feeling."