Blues, Booze and Bands: Nightlife in Memphis Has It All



Out of all the clubs and bars in Memphis, it's hard to pick just ten best – especially here in the home of Beale Street, with its open container policy, it's nightclubs and blues bars. But we're happy to take this bullet for ya, believe us. Much of the best nightlife in Memphis is downtown, between Beale Street's live music clubs, a few hotel rooftop bars, and a few of our favorite late-night spots. Midtown's two bustling neighborhoods - Cooper-Young and Overton Square - are definite contenders in the "best concentration of hip bars"  category.

Beale is the most raucous of the nightlife offerings in Memphis; in fact, little else compares to it in terms of the sheer number of people and the people watching. Our choices for the city's best night spots is a bit eclectic, indeed; whether you're looking for a dance club or dive bar, a blues hall or swank lounge, Memphis has it all. We offer a carefully vetted selection to let you explore Memphis nightlife alone or  with your friends. Here, we distill the best businesses down to a special selection of ten. These places promise a stellar experience and a real feel of the city that you just can't miss.




An Irish dueling piano pub with beer-loving goats? Nothing quite compares with what awaits you at Silky O'Sullivan's. Located in the heart of Memphis nightlife on Beale Street, Silky's serves up Southern pub grub and ice-cold beer in a raucous...  Read More




The first salsa club in the city, Rumba Room is a little bit of a love letter to Latin culture. There's a swanky bar area, a colorful mural, a menu full of Cuban and Latin-inspired appetizers, and a large dance area that pulses with a salsa...  Read More


Peabody Lobby Bar
Photo courtesy of Peabody Hotel


The historic Peabody Hotel is widely regarded as the place to stay when you're visiting Memphis; the grand hotel is elegant and sophisticated, with a huge two-story lobby featuring marble columns and rich decor. Indeed, the hotel's lobby...  Read More




The newest entry in the downtown hotel rooftop scene, Twilight is a super-chic space with commanding views of the Mississippi. Perched atop the boutique Madison Hotel, the refurbished rooftop space now includes comfy seating for lounging,...  Read More


Young Avenue Deli
Photo courtesy of Courtesy Young Avenue Deli


Don't be thrown by the name; this cavernous space is indeed a deli (and a tasty one, at that) but it also doubles as a live music must-hit for Memphians. While the atmosphere of Young Avenue screams ROCK!, there's a surprisingly eclectic...  Read More




This gritty club – a former bordello and hotel, is the local go-to for late night drinks and an alcohol-soaking Soul Burger – a tasty concoction of greasy burger with onions that helps one regain one's sobriety at the end of the evening.The...  Read More




This is one of those spots your mom warned you about - and is, as we say in the South, a hot mess. But w love it anyway! For years, Hollywood Raiford entertained Memphians in a huge old building on Vance, just south of the central business...  Read More




When they say food / spirits on the Mollie Fontaine Web site, spirits has a double meaning - as in, the kind your drink and the kind who haunt old, Victorian homes. Mollie Fontaine is housed in a gorgeous Victorian mansion, stuffed with a...  Read More




Once the center of black-owned businesses and nightclubs, Beale became the home of the blues at the turn of the 20th century - a waypoint along the trail from the Mississippi Delta to Chicago. W.C. Handy lived - and performed - here, and...  Read More


In the 1970's, Overton Square was THE nightlife spot in Memphis; Beale Street was a ghost town, and there were only random bars scattered throughout town. These days, the Square is bar-hopping paradise. Craft beers at Bosco's, tacos and tapas...  Read More


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Meet Sally Walker Davies

Sally Walker Davies is enchanted by Memphis' music, history, and characters. From the artsy South Main Historic District to the grittiness of her favorite live music clubs to the sophisticated...  More About Sally

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