Nightlife | Pixels Bar & Eatery

By: Katrina Honer

It’s a party every day of the week at Pixels Bar & Eatery in Downtown Riverside, where you will find a mix of bar-hoppers, college students, and sports fans constantly walking in and out the doors. At the corner of University and Lemon, this laid back bar stays busy from sun up to sun down with food and drink specials that stretch well into the morning hours and weekly events that include karaoke, arcade nights and live music.

While Downtown Riverside is known to be rather quiet during the week, the weekend nightlife is a completely different story as people pack the streets to bar-hop. While Pixels is fairly new, being in business for almost three years this coming November, by word of mouth, I was informed they top the list of one of the best bars to swing by in Riverside. With a start of a new weekend, my friends and I decided it was time to see what Pixels was all about.


We arrived at the bar at 10:15p.m. Friday night and was surprised to find that not only was there no cover charge, the place was already packed with patrons outside on the patio enjoying drinks and the warm autumn air, along with many others inside. Considering how early this was for bar-hopping night owls like myself, I was excited to see how much busier this place could get.

We walked into a quaint space where there was a dance floor and stage with a live DJ to the left, the bar front and center and a spacious seating area to the far right. With local artwork covering the walls, several flat screen tvs, and an electronic jukebox, Pixels unique interior elicits hometown comfort with a club like feel. In addition to the lights dimmed low enough to enjoy an intimate space without it being too dark, the cool vibe allows attendees to indulge in shamless dancing or to comfortably engage in a conversation without the need to yell.


As the last call for food was at 10:30 p.m., I ordered one of their signature food items—the Grilled Cheese Pesto. As busy as the bar was, I was impressed with the speed and responsiveness of the bartenders. My meal was delivered to me in less than 10 minutes. A comfort food classic that includes a mix of several cheeses, pesto, tomato, and a bit of spice, their grilled cheese will definitely hit the spot to power you through the night or sober you up quickly so you can. One of their most popular food items caters to the vegetarian crowd—the Avocado Tacos. They can also be made vegan or gluten free.

If all you care about are drinks, you’ll be happy to know Pixels has the largest selection of craft beer downtown. The drink special of the evening included $5 “You Call it Whiskeys” and $4 Craft Beers. As I stood undecidedly at the bar trying to figure out what to indulge in, I settled on a shot of Jameson and Pineapple due to the fact patrons at the bar encouraged me via chants, claps and hoots to try it out and to chug it down as fast as possible.


After our meal, my friends and I grabbed our drinks and moved toward the packed dancefloor where DJ Mantastique was spinning an eclectic mix of throwback classics, old school hip-hop and EDM. Despite the lack of space due to the number of people on the floor, dancers were kind as we waddled our way to the center to groove to the DJ’s electronic beats. It was no surprise that my friends and I ran into an array of familiar faces and made new acquaintances beneath the technicolor nights where pleasantries, stories and laughs were exchanged with good people.

When we walked out to the patio to cool down around 11:44p.m., the line to get inside the bar was double the size and circled its way down the street. With the night still young, my friends and I grabbed another round of drinks and beneath the starry sky, discussed the next time we would visit Pixels.


If you can’t make it out to Pixels on a Friday night, check out their other weekly events below and daily drink specials:

Mustache Mondays

From 3p.m. to 12a.m. enjoy half priced drinks with “stache, real or fake, man or woman.”
DJ Kevbot plays at 9:30p.m.

Karaoke Tuesdays

Sing your heart out with KJ Karen who hosts karaoke at 9:00p.m. Tuesday
Grab yourself $3 Mexican Imports or $ 5 U-call-it Tequila From 3p.m. to 12a.m. 

Arcade Wednesdays

Get your game face on and play some of the classics of all time while grooving to DJ Geo who goes live at 9:00p.m.
Enjoy $3 Wells and Drafts from 3p.m. to 12a.m.

Pixelated Thursdays

Get pixelated with DJ Juice and Guests spinning live beats at 9:30p.m.
Don't forget about the $3 Wells and Drafts and $5 U-call-it Vodka from 3p.m. to 12a.m.

Electric Fridays

Jump start your weekend with $4 Crafts and $5 U-call-it Whiskey from 3p.m. to 11p.m.
DJ Mantastique with special guests DJ PB&J and DJ Kevbot take the stage at 9:30p.m.

Saturday Beats

$3 PBR and $3 Moonshine from 3p.m. to 11p.m.
DJ Srndr and DJ Nerd at 9:30p.m.

Animal Cult Sundays

It's Sunday Funday with $3 Wells and Domestics from 3p.m. to 12a.m.
Live Bands and Guest DJs at 9:00p.m.


Pixels Bar & Eatery is located at 3535 University Avenue in Riverside, California. For more information call (951) 683-7957 or visit their website.


Full Disclosure: The meal and drinks were provided complimentary by Pixels, however all opinions are 100% our own.