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11. The mature scene The lighting is dark
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11. The mature scene

The lighting is dark but the mood is bright at Sugar, "a dining den and social club" that opened in 2010 in Carle Place. In 2011, it remained a premiere place to go on the Island -- but it caters to a 30 year-old-and-over crowd first. With the success of Sugar, as well as Four Food Studio in Melville and Honu in Huntington -- all top destinations that feature a "mature" scene -- the days of club nights being dominated by 20-somethings are no more.

Visit Sugar(Credit: David Pokress, 2010)

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Top Long Island nightlife trends of 2011

2011 was a unique year for nightlife on the Island.

Rewind back to 2010, and the main stories were all about Hamptons bashes and DJs spinning solely dance and hip-hop beats for young crowds inside bars, clubs and lounges. The Hamptons were the top destination of the East End. Local bars sold simple, popular beer to neighborhood patrons. At the same time, most of the long-running clubs were doing solid business -- without any sign they would be disappearing in only a few short months…

Fast-forward to the last month of 2011, and “what was” is now matched by “what is”: nightclubs throwing rooftop parties, Montauk set in place as a popular stop as hot as all the fabulous South Fork neighborhoods, club-goers in their 40s seen everywhere, “hip” bars serving rare beers and putting on art exhibits. Plus, major veteran venues have shuttered or been completely reborn. And all this happened within the past 12 months.

Can you imagine four different clubs featuring country music nights? On Long Island? Only in 2011. --Ian J. Stark