It's getting pretty late. Wanna hang out?
January 17, 2011 12:40 PM   Subscribe

How do I find people to hang out with late at night?

I am self-employed, so I can sleep whenever I want, and my favorite schedule is to stay up til about 3-4am and then sleep til 10am. I would like to find people to hang out with late, say between midnight and 3am. Most of my friends go to bed around midnight; the few night owls I know are all male, and I'm female, so setting up 1am hangouts will probably send mixed signals. I'm not looking for dating vibes at all, at all.

I like very casual relaxed hanging out- lounging on the couch, sitting in cafes, conversations, laughing, board games, cards, poker, crafts and projects, videogames, movies, watching entire seasons of TV on DVD, playing catch in the park, loosely-organized sports with friends, late-night walks, neighborhood exploration, sneaking into places, drinking on the playground, making snowmen, gathering around the YouTube hearth, being fun and funny, cooking, eating, etc etc etc. I live in Toronto and my interests tend to align with those of playful people ranging in age from late-20s to mid-30s. Basically I will happily partake of any activity that doesn't involve overly loud environments or dancing, although I have some tolerance for those last two things, too.

So, how do I find me some nighthawk friends? Advice? Any local mefites up for a midnight meetup?
posted by pseudostrabismus to Human Relations (18 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
In my experience, people who work in the food and beverage service industry tend to be night owls.
Make friends with your favorite bartenders/servers and try to hang out with them on their off nights?
posted by joan_holloway at 12:43 PM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Are there any 24-hour coffee shops nearby? That's where I hung out late at night when I had a similar schedule. You don't say where you live, but if there's a university in your town, there's probably a late-night crowd surrounding it.
posted by me3dia at 12:46 PM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Toronto. Smiling at servers sounds like a good first step, thanks.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 12:48 PM on January 17, 2011

If you're interested in meeting food and bev people, maybe try the Drake's 86d Mondays. It's a loungey environment, so it'll possibly be overly loud and dancy, but it'll be filled with nightowl types from the industry.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:07 PM on January 17, 2011

I'll be eagerly watching this thread, but I wanted to follow up on what me3dia wrote.

I went to one university and now work for and live near another. Neither one had any coffee places that were open around the clock. The first had a pretty awesome late-night diner that was popular with students. The second one doesn't have anything like that at all.
posted by Nomyte at 1:10 PM on January 17, 2011

On how to actually meet night owls, I'm not sure.

All of my night owl pals work(ed) in IT, customer service, own their own businesses, 2nd shift warehouse/manufacturing, bartenders or are unemployed.

Most of my friends are actually night owls.
But I met most of them out at a [80s/goth.industrial] club and its (somewhat related) website forum.
Some I met through other people at bars/coffee shops downtown.

I guess, if you're more extroverted than I am (which wouldn't be hard), the best thing to do would be to find a late-night coffee shop and chat it up (probably best to start with some females as men sometimes think if you approach them that means you're interested).

There might be a forum/message board/blog/meetup site in your area where you can get to know the people and find out who is up late at night... and eventually hang out.
posted by KogeLiz at 1:54 PM on January 17, 2011

So, um just as a word of warning about hanging with the cooking scene - I'll give you a bit of my experience in Cambridge, MA. I would catch up with buddies at The B-Side, Chez Henri or Noir (as it stayed open later - good for chefs). We'd drink, shoot the shit, and then afterward, the goal would be generally to keep one of the guys out of a heroin den or crack house in Chinatown.

Also, servers will not invite you to go out with them, nor will bartenders, and probably chefs won't either. You will have to basically invite yourself, which may seem akward, but I assure you - if you do it once and get in - you'll have a standing invite. It is a very very strange world to see a city from the underbelly of the night life end of things.

I am still a night owl, but I'm much happier playing a little League of Legends against strangers online than worrying whether we'd be visiting NEMC for either a buddy overdosing or someone getting shot (the OD thing happened a few times, but the shooting was a very real narrowly avoided event).
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:18 PM on January 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

I am seeing this from a point of view of "how can I find people who stay up late, make friends with them, then hang out in some new way with those friends". So I offer you these ideas:

In my town, there are bowling alleys which have midnight leagues. If you join one of those (or just hang out at one) you may find that some of those people stay up late on other nights of the week hanging out at their homes or whatever.

Same with 24-hour grocery stores - if you regularly shop at that hour, can you chat up some folks and build friendships that way?

When I was in college, we didn't hang at coffee shops but in dorm rooms, common rooms, or student apartments. You'd have to have an "in" to those places, like take a class at the college and then make friends with students who stay up late. (if students were a group you wanted to hang out with).
posted by CathyG at 2:32 PM on January 17, 2011

When I worked at a movie theater we all were on a pretty late schedule. Befriend the concessionaires at your local art house?
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:31 PM on January 17, 2011

Very similar experience to Nanukthedog's. And a similar cautionary message.

When I was still a student, years ago, I worked several semesters at a dive bar and at a restaurant, and was inducted into the exclusive after hours scene. That group of friends generally had oodles more kindness and charm than did my classmates. And they were way more heterogeneous, since they weren't a distilled batch of jerks with the same GPAs and standardized test scores. But. It was tiring to stay uninvolved in some of the less seemly aspects of some of my coworkers' lifestyles, such as, for example, the drinking, the drugs, and, I stretch the truth not, their alleged gambling operation and house of ill-repute. The judgmental summary is that if you're looking to elevate yourself, the best place to look is not a bar at 4:00AM.

But if you want to have carefree conversation, to learn how to drink, and be able to quickly spot a dealer or a bad cop, a good bet is to seek out a place like perhaps the one jacquilynne mentioned and become a regular there.
posted by L'oeuvre Child at 3:34 PM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Newspaper folk -- some reporters and photographers and most copy editors, who have to work nights to put out the next day's paper -- are after-dark types. (Note this post on Stuff Journalists Like.) As a copy editor/page designer, for example, I usually get to work about 4 p.m. and get out around midnight or 1 a.m.

I do not live in Toronto and so have no dog in this fight, but Googling "toronto journalists hangouts" led me to this story on the Press Club, touted as a hot spot for media people. There are also drink nights hosted by Press Pass, described by its co-founder as the "young [35 and under], cool journalism community in Toronto." (YMMV.) You might also want to check out coffee shops, pizza places and bars near colleges/universities with journalism programs.
posted by virago at 4:44 PM on January 17, 2011

I don't know when they'll be starting it, but there's a hip little software shop at Queen and Spadina called Unspace that's planning to hold regular late-night open houses where you can hang out or work on cool projects during the wee hours.

I'll probably be helping out with that one, so keep an eye on my blog for announcements.
posted by AccordionGuy at 4:46 PM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Get a part-time job (couple of days per week) on the side for a few months at either a bar or a casino, just long enough til you make night-owl friends, then quit :)
posted by KLF at 5:14 PM on January 17, 2011

i wish i weren't moving away from Toronto next week! i am always awake really late too, and would have been up for a midnight MeFite meetup!

although i usually write late at night, or catch up on e-mails and such, i did go to the Lakeview Diner last week at 1 am. (if you've never been - it's on Dundas, just east of Ossington.) it's a 24-hour diner, and there were about 8-10 people there, mostly on their own. some were reading. other than that, i don't know of many late-night hang out spots in Toronto, but if i remember anything i'll let you know.
posted by gursky at 5:19 PM on January 17, 2011

Is there still a pool table at the back of sneaky dee's? maybe go play a few late-night games
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 7:36 PM on January 17, 2011

It's just starting out (I checked it out when I was keeping later hours recently) and people aren't really using it yet, but maybe you can help make it happen and find friends via the Internet on... Night Owl Nation! (There apparently really is a website for everything.)
posted by RJ Reynolds at 8:18 PM on January 17, 2011

As another nocturnal Toronto mefite I'd be up for midnight meetups if they came about.

As for exploration and sneaking into places you can look at the Toronto DB at
The uer people have meetups as well, but they're mostly in sewers.

If you have any other hobbies look for Toronto specific forums to join, then find those who like to play their frisbee golf late at night.

Play any online games? is mefi's gaming wing and full of great people.
posted by breakfast! at 1:17 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, I don't know how common this is, but my dad used to drag me to pick-up ice hockey games at assinine times like 1 am.
posted by WeekendJen at 11:24 AM on January 18, 2011

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