AFTER multiple prolonged periods stuck indoors on an evening, Bolton’s post-lockdown nightlife offerings are back and thriving.

The night-time economy took a huge hit throughout the area when Covid forced the closure of boozers and restaurants.

Even when punters were allowed to sit outside, only a small percentage of most venues’ true capacities were fulfilled.

As we head towards the longer, warmer nights of summer, there are plenty of eateries, bars, nightclubs and places to get your entertainment fix when the sun goes down in the borough.

New establishments are popping up frequently, signalling not only a positive upturn in the fortunes of venue owners, but the improvement in options and moods of the people they serve.

Those after late-night destination will likely find themselves on either Bradshawgate or Nelson Square, the focal point of Bolton’s night clubs and party bars.

Whether it’s ROC, Kahiki, The Dragon Fly Pub, Yates, Depost, The Bar or The Balmoral, there’s something for all late-night comers. 

The Bolton News: Clubbers inside KahikiClubbers inside Kahiki

If you fancy a bit of live music, Definitely Maybe provides just that, along with a wide array of libations. You will find a similar offering at The Venue Bar on Churchgate.

A more relaxed atmosphere might be more up your street, and there is plenty to sample.

Northern Monkey bring their own beer to Nelson Square, and the recently opened The Diversion, a new micro bar on Corporation Street that bills itself as a place for people who do not want the bright lights and banging music that other places might offer.

READ: New Bolton town centre micro bar The Diversion opens

Richard, co-owner of The Diversion, said: “Communication is important especially for older people living alone who like to go to places like this where they can talk and not have loud music blaring over speakers.

“We think there’s an opening for something like this in Bolton especially because bars owned by big companies must put in the beers the companies want in, but we can do what we like and have almost anything.”

The Bolton News: The Diversion co-owners, brothers Gerald and Richard Hill.The Diversion co-owners, brothers Gerald and Richard Hill.

The Vaults in Bolton Market Place has a wide variety of offerings.

Rachel Townsend, manager of Market Place, said: "Bolton is really coming alive as an evening venue and at The Vaults in Market Place we have seen this reflected in the new operators that have come on board.

“Bar Four, the brainchild of Paul Welch who owns Bolton Gin, is now open and joins the Oxygen Bar and V5 amongst our new tenants.

"What is clear is the diversity of styles and offers in each venue.

“Great Ales has always offered live music alongside gin and rum tasting masterclasses and these new operators are extending the entertainment options with everything from drag artists and DJ's to family craft workshops.

The Bolton News: Great Ale in The VaultsGreat Ale in The Vaults

“It's ironic that The Vaults looks and feels so contemporary in a setting created by the Victorians.

“The place creates a great sense of informality and because it is covered it offers the style of al fresco hospitality people love.

“The restaurants and bars at The Vaults have just launched ‘Student Thursdays’ with special deals for students at Prezzo, Cadar Chimney Cakes, Great Ale, Bar Four and the Oxygen Bar.

"It’s a great way for undergrads to turn down the heat in their rooms and discover what a warm and friendly place Bolton is.”

If it is the theatre, you are into, Bolton can offer some of the finest venues and productions for miles around.

The Octagon’s regularly puts on new and engaging shows, with its recent hosting of Habibti Driver going down a treat.

READ: Review: Habibti Driver, Octagon Theatre, Bolton

If that is not to your liking, however, the historic Bolton Albert Halls, which has been at the centre or entertainment in the town for over 100 years will surely have something more your style.

Sometimes all we want on an evening is to see the latest blockbusters at the cinema.

The Light Cinema can offer precisely that, as well as bringing international live events to Bolton via its screens.

Council chief Martyn Cox wants Bolton to become a place where people come from afar to visit. He was keen to point out the various cinema and theatre choices the town has, as well as eateries and events that are on offer.

The Bolton News: Cllr Martyn CoxCllr Martyn Cox

“We’ve invested a lot of money in The Octagon,” he said, “and you look at places like The Vaults where there are lots of options now.

“The council intends to make Bolton a destination town, for people to come and have an experience, which is why we’re putting on events like the Food and Drink Festival and the Christmas Festival, which will be returning next year.”