Derby has more than its fair share of bars and pubs as well as one or two clubs. A large student population means that the city centre can get quite lively, particularly on a Friday and Saturday night. In many areas of the city the local pubs have weekend entertainment, and a good number of them sell real ale. There are a good few bars along Sadler Gate, most of them aimed at the younger end of the market.
Saddlers, as it is known, is at the end of an alleyway off Sadler Gate. This intimate tiered bar is one of the more up market Derby night spots. The bar really comes to life at the weekend when it tends to play a lot of house music. Inside there are comfy chairs and out in the courtyard, lit with fairy lights, people will dance. The Vines is also a favourite bar and one that attracts all ages no room for dancing. Fridays and Saturdays are good with a local DJ and cheap cocktails for those who want to try them.
Zanzibars is a nightclub in the centre of town, it’s a large club with two dance floors, mostly DJs but occasional live music and special nights, attracts all ages. Unity and McCluskys are good for popular dance music and the occasional R&B night. The Blue Note is a club that plays both rock music and R&B and is popular with the younger crowd. The Flower Pot and the Rock House both feature live music. The Flower Pot tends to attract an older crowd as it also sells real ale; there is a door charge when the live bands are on.
There are several real ale pubs in and around Derby including the Bell and the Falstaff. The Falstaff has new beers every so often, a bit off the beaten track and a bit grungy but quite a friendly pub. Friargate has quite a few bars and restaurants; the Spanish Tapas bar is really good, with Latin music.
Most areas of Derby also have their own locals and quite a few have some live entertainment at weekends. The Malin on Normanton Road, about ten minutes from the city centre has music every weekend as does the Byron pub. If you just want a quiet drink then the Dolphin is quite good, dating back to the late seventeenth century it is the oldest pub in Derby.
Susumi is a bar come club situated on Friargate different music is played on both the ground and the first floors and the downstairs area has a DJ and some comfortable seating. If you want to dance then that happens upstairs. The Blue Dog on Sadler Gate attracts mostly students, it has exposed brickwork and wooden seating, plays mostly indie music.
The nightlife in Derby is pretty varied, other than the Spanish Tapas bar and perhaps the Dolphin, if you want a quiet drink and something to eat then some of the pubs away from the city centre might be a better bet.