64 Market St, Portsmouth, NH | Directions 0380143.078221 -70.757483
Mon - Thu, 11:30am - 10pm; Fri, Sat, 11am - 11pm; Sun, 11am - 10pm
it's great, just know when to go and what to expect. – I live in Boston and I have been to Gas Light and Co. numerous times – every time I stay in Portsmouth. I found it surprising that this place was getting poor reviews and then I read the reviews. Since I like this place I want to take this post to set expectations. First, realize that Portsmouth is tiny. It needs variety. It is full of great little restaurants, but it doesn’t offer a lot of options for a younger audience who is looking for a night out on the town. Gas Light & Co. offers variety. Here are a few points on the food and the scene, at least from my experience here.
• Great food. They really do have great food. It’s not going to be the best meal of your life, but it is better than good.
• Great location. Right on market street.
• Reasonable prices. Each floor offers different food options, but all in my opinion are reasonably priced. They are not obnoxiously high, but I wouldn’t call them cheap either. I think they are priced well for the quality of food that you get.
There are three floors and a deck outside. The top floor is a club scene at night, the ground floor is the more upscale restaurant, which serves lunch and dinner, and the third floor offers pizza, wings and beers. Additionally, they have a deck, which is a great option to have for nice spring or summer days and for nights when you want to enjoy some good live music. I actually like having all of those options, but some people do not.
That being said, from reading all of these reviews it sounds like most of the frustration is due to the time that these people went to eat and not having a clear idea of what to expect going in. So… here are a few things to know if you are going to visit.
Lunch – if you go for lunch you’ll get a nice quiet restaurant with great food and quick and friendly service.
Dinner – If you visit during normal dinner hours 5-7p you’ll enjoy a great dinner with a decent little beer selection and your average, busy restaurant noise. HOWEVER, if you go for a bite later in the night you won't have the tables and you’ll likely feel like you’re in your typical Faneuil Hall Boston bar filled with a younger crowd and a lot of noise.
In short, if you’re going there to eat, go for lunch or go during regular dinner hours and I am confident you’ll enjoy it. If you go later on, expect a loud, noisy, younger bar crowd.
great place to go-if you like high prices and lots of rules – Friends and I were looking for someplace with a patio and some live music in Portsmouth, and we stumbled across the Gas Light. We coughed up the $5 cover because paying a cover at the door to a bar usually ensures cheaper beers, better service, you know, some kind of benefit. We sidled up to the bar and placed our order. Three beers came to $15. Definitely on the high side, but not ridiculous. One of my friends and I wanted to have a cigar, but were told that we can't smoke them on the deck. All around us were people with cigarettes, but no cigars allowed?! WTF? The rules continued to pile up, and so did the prices. No drinks in the bathroom (not ridiculous). No shots. 1 drink per hour limit. If you want to order a round of drinks, you have to have everybody at the bar when you order. Once you go to the nightclub, if you want to go back to the deck you have to pay the cover again. You get carded all the time (once at the door to the deck, at the bar on the deck, at the door to the nightclub, at the bar in the nightclub, etc etc). No drinks on the dancefloor. If you want comfortable seating you have to pay $25 to get into the VIP section (really just a roped off section of the nightclub with some couches). No shots here either. Nothing straight up, nothing on the rocks, no drinks with more than 2 types of alcohol in them. The list goes on and on. Plus, even though it has a cover to get in, this place is EXPENSIVE!! $9 for a mixed drink, $5 for beer (a budweiser, no less!!). Even our DD had to pay $2.50 for a COKE!! Save yourself some money and a lot of hassle and go someplace else, this place isn't worth your time or consideration.
The Nightclub is a Corny Hot Mess! Just skip it! – I have to agree with the review of the establishment as a bar/nightclub. It was so corny and so rediculous. The staff are quite rude, as if to project some sort of self-importance or use some kind or reverse psychology to get you to think you are at some exclusive nightclub ( I hear they actually hava a roped off V.I.P section in the danceclub which I think is hilarious, as it is a business driven mostly by white tourist from New England suburbs. The approach they are taking to make sure yu know just how much you you need to be there, seems to be by creating as many lines to wait in as possible...maybe so from the street you think you are looking upon the next Studio 54. We waited in line at the mis-direction of one staff person just to be barked at by a "Look at my tatto sleeve, everybody" chick who was guarding the upstairs entrance like it was One-Eyed Willies treasure. She rudely demanded we go back outside and wait as it had it's own entrace. Confused as anybody in their right mind would be as we had just gotten in and paid 8 dollars each doing so, just to return to the line. We were aggressively directed to return to wait in line again, carded again, and met up with the same terminator lady, who cut my wrist bracelet and grunted at my "Thankyou". Aside of the entitled abusive treatment of the staff, the list of this club is total joke goes on...weird and police-state environment that monitors your drinking like you are at the prom...one drink limit ordering, no shots, bouncers grabbing your wrist to check your (completely unneccessary) blacklight stamp if you get too close to any entrance. Almost all staff were incredibly rude and abrupt, and we could not wait to finish our drinks and get out of there, as there are many places to choose from that turned out to be waaaay better even without the barely used dance floor and college frathouse disco lighting. Save your money and go to the irish bar around the corner to Ri Ra for friendly staff, fun environment, live music, and a good time.
Stay away – Like many of the other reviewers, two friends and I recently paid the cover at Gas Light and before finishing our first drink were asked to leave by the bouncers upstairs. When we asked why they told us they had received complaints but would not provide details. Hmmm... all we were doing was sitting at the bar and talking amongst ourselves. They refused to refund our cover and literally escorted us to the "mandatory" coat room and then down the stairs to the front door. As a group of professionals in our late 30s who has frequented many establishments, we found the whole thing QUITE odd and somewhat discriminatory as the majority of clientele in the nightclub were in their twenties. We agree with many here, stay away. There are plenty of other places in Portsmouth to frequent.
So Much Fun!!! – I LOVE THIS BAR!!! The Gaslight offers a great atmosphere with no hassle. They have: game night on Mondays, Dancing on Friday and Saturdays (the only place in town by the way) and they offer pizza downstairs and great fine dining food on the street level. The staff is friendly and knows how to make just about every drink known to man but they have zero tolerance for rude and offensive behavior so if you want to be a [******] go to DStreet.
(They DONOT however serve shots which is a draw back but again not many places do anymore in Portsmouth.)
Terrible Dining Experience – One of my worst dining experiences. My wife's cocktail was without flavor; the noodles in her stirfry were so overcooked they were coagulated. The meat in my entree was overdone and tough; the rice was without flavor, overcooked and barely edible. Our server was inexperienced and forgot one of the before dinner drinks. As stated by another reviewer, I telephone the owner and asked for a call back. Not surprisingly, he has not returned my call. Considering the high price of the entrees, I sis not expect to be served Denny's quality food. Stay away.
I'll never go here again! – Having formerly lived in Dover, I am familiar with the nightlife in Portsmouth. I recently enrolled in law school and decided to bring some friends for a night on the town. After dinner we went to some bars. Our last stop was the Gaslight. This was a mistake. I remember there being a dress code, but what ensued this night was just ridiculous.
First, there was a 5 dollar cover. Portsmouth is nice, but it isn't Boston and no other bar that we went to that night had a cover. But whatever, we sucked it up and paid the cover.
Once inside, a bouncer told my friend that no T shirts with printing on the front are allowed. WTF?! That doesn't make any sense. No T-shirts at all would make substantially more sense. To solve the problem he put his shirt on backwards and I gave him my sport coat to wear.
Then when we were walking upstairs, another bouncer told a different friend of mine that he had to check his coat. FORCING PEOPLE TO USE COAT CHECK?! What's wrong with putting your jacket over the back of a chair?
When my friend went to buy a round of beers, the bartender refused to serve him unless ALL of us were at the bar with him. That makes NO SENSE whatsoever. I don't see how that combats binge drinking at all, and it only makes the bar area more crowded.
When we went on the dance floor, the bouncers refused to let us on the floor with our drinks. That was the last straw for me. They might as well ban smiling and breathing while they're at it.
DO NOT GO TO THE GASLIGHT. The management there has turned an otherwise fun place into a concentration camp. Go to the Sportpage instead. There's no cover, the drinks are priced better and if you want there's a dance floor downstairs.
Worst Place in Portsmouth – We were very disappointed with our experience here. We came to Portsmouth to celebrate the wedding of a friend of mine, and we had great plans to head over to the Gaslight. However, we were refused service at the door because they "don't allow bachelorette parties" inside of the club. HUH? I don't see why. I can't see them treating a group of GUYS the same way, even if they WERE celebrating a bachelor party.
There were only six of us and we weren't at all rowdy. WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT! I will never again go there because of this sexist policy. I can't even believe that it's legal! I'm just counting the days until a bachelorette sues the PANTS off the owners.
It wasn't JUST the fact that they didn't allow us inside, either. It was the rude treatment we received. The sexist attitude of the bouncers and the rudeness of the staff was intolerable. Plus, there's a $5 cover. NO WAY! Most bars/clubs WELCOME large groups of girls.... we'll go somewhere that we're welcome at nest time!
Bachelorette Parties NOT Welcome Here! – After leaving a nice meal in Portsmouth, 8 of us headed to the Gaslight to dance and have some fun (usual at Bachelorette parties). At the door, the grumpy bouncer instructed the bride to remove her veil. He said that they do not like the atmosphere bachelorette parties create? Confused, we paid our cover charge to get upstairs after trying to get an answer to why that was so. Bachelorette parties not welcome? Our mood went downhill, so we ask for shots. No shots. Not after 11pm. Fine. The bartender spills a drink on one of us, the bouncer instructs the bride to remove her veil again after she sneaks it back on with a smile on her face, and lots of nice people congratulating her. The bouncers get nasty, and after asking again why we can't a group of women celebrate her big day with a veil, the bouncer leaves us and returns with 6 policement to kick us out. This all happened in the span of about 15 minutes. Portsmouth has recently started cracking down on rowdy crowds (I can see their point), and binge drinking. I'm all for cutting sloppy drunks off. However, they are going off the deep end with ridiculous tactics, sexist attitudes, with no explanation to customers. The Gaslight is a joke, and do NOT go here for anything but harrassment and a miserable time. Go to the "Red Door"- not too far away. Stellar martinis, great DJ, and a welcoming atmosphere.
Feel like being screamed at by the bouncer? – This is a sorry excuse for a bar. After a $5 cover (hey portsmouth - you're no Boston) to listen to a mediocre band, our group was kicked out of the deck area...for dancing. I'm serious - dancing. A bouncer informed us that their liquor license "did not permit dancing". Not crazy gyrating, just normal head bopping type dancing. After about 10 minutes of civil disobedience another bouncer came over to yell us us and then pushed one of the girls in our group, in an attempt to get her our of the bar. That was our cue to leave. So much for Live Free or Die. Definitely not worth the cover, or the attitude!
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