10 Best Historic District Spots for Live Music: Rock, Jazz, Country and More



Whether you’re a fan of rock, alternative, jazz, country or show tunes, you’re guaranteed to have an entertaining evening checking out the Historic District’s live music scene. 

One of Savannah's most esteemed live music venues is The Jinx, a bar that has hosted a number of prominent local, regional and national acts. Congress Street Social Club and The Warehouse Bar and Grill also welcome local and regional bands every week and draw steady crowds who enjoy having a drink and rocking out. Other good choices for live music include country and western bar Saddle Bags, hipster haunt The Sparetime, and Cuban restaurant Rancho Alegre, which hosts a jazz trio every weekend.

For something completely different, stop by Savannah Smiles, a dueling piano bar that features a variety of tunes across genres played by four talented piano players. Jazz’d Tapas Bar boasts a rotating schedule of talented local musicians, including Trae Gurley who takes the stage each Thursday night singing classic Sinatra tunes.

To hear live music that’s fun for the whole family, snag tickets to a performance at the Historic Savannah Theatre. The talented Savannah Theatre troupe puts on several shows a week that are perfect for families.

And just about everyone in Savannah appreciates the live entertainment provided by the artists who grace the outdoor stage at Wild Wing Café in City Market. Grab a table and order some wings while you enjoy the sounds of several well-known local and regional acts or just enjoy some complementary music as you stroll through City Market.



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Want a little jazz with your lechon asado? Then head to Rancho Alegre, a Cuban restaurant that features live entertainment on the weekends. In addition to enjoying the smooth sounds of a jazz trio, you can indulge on Rancho favorites including pollo asado o frillo (half a chicken roasted or fried with mojo), churazzco (a grilled skirt steak accompanied by chimichurri sauce), the aforementioned lechon asado (Cuban roasted pork) and Paella Valencia (a traditional Cuban dish with rice, chicken, pork and a medley of seafood that the restaurant suggests you order two hours prior to your meal). Most entrees are served with beans and rice and accompanied by fried plantains. The drink menu features both alcoholic and non-alcoholic Cuban favorites, among them parcha (passion fruit juice), Cuban coffee, sangria and mojitos.


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Most bars serve specialty drinks, but The Sparetime takes top honors for the most unique cocktails in town. This newcomer, located near City Market in the Historic District, offers alchemic cocktails such as the Corn N' Oil, a mixture of Cruzan Blackstrap rum, Velvet Falernum, lime juice and Angostura, and the Rose-Zarem, featuring house-infused cucumber vodka, rosewater, lemon juice and seltzer. Non-cocktail drinkers will enjoy the bar's selection of old world wines and craft beer. In addition to an impressive selection behind the bar, The Sparetime also offers gourmet pizzas--considered by many to be the best in town--and other small plates. The bar, which features floor-to-ceiling windows and a chic interior, has quickly become the go-to spot for local hipsters and Savannah's creative minions.


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This country bar and dance hall, located on the west end of River Street in the Historic District, features a mechanical bull, scantily clad waitresses and perhaps the city's best selection of top-shelf bourbon. But the bar--the brainchild of Johnny Gosyne, co-owner of popular dance clubs The Crypt Pub and Club 51 Degrees--really shines as a venue for live country music and line dancing. The club regularly hosts line dancing nights, including free lessons for beginners, and has a great live lineup on weekends, when it welcomes performers from around the country. Add in unique special weekly events, like the popular Red Solo Cup night on Thursdays in which patrons can fill up their plastic cups for crazy low prices, and you've found one of the best places in town to throw down.


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Enjoying a prime spot on River Street, The Warehouse Bar and Grill is equal parts bar, restaurant and live music venue. Local and regional bands typically take to the Warehouse's stage several times a week, providing rocking entertainment for all to enjoy. The bar is fully stocked, but many people come in to take advantage of the Warehouse's cheap and ice-cold beer. The menu, which is served late, features standard bar fare including nachos, quesadillas, burgers and sandwiches. If you're feeling adventurous, try the Gut Buster, two-and-a-half pounds of Angus meat topped with a quarter pound of bacon, cheese sticks, chili, tater tots, Philly meat and three cheeses, served on a grilled cheese bun.


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Always packed, always lively, always entertaining, Jazz'd is the place to be seen in Downtown Savannah. Located in the basement of the historic Kress building, this tapas-style restaurant has a long, sleek serpentine bar and ample seating in the bar area. The eclectic drink menu boasts more than 25 types of martinis, including the pineapple upside down cake, with vanilla rum, pineapple rum, pineapple juice and grenadine, and the plumsake tini, with plum sake, vodka, raspberry schnapps and a squeeze of lemon. Those who want a late-night bite to eat will have plenty to choose from on the tapas menu, from chorizo stuffed mushrooms to basil shrimp and grits. Live music Tuesday through Sunday rounds out the Jazz'd experience, making it one of the best places to spend an evening in Savannah.


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Just as its name suggests, Congress Street Social Club has become a popular spot for those who want to meet and mingle. The always-bustling establishment, which is just a block away from City Market, has a large outdoor patio and bar, along with a bar on the ground level and another in the basement. Among Congress Street Social Club's interior accoutrements are pool tables, dartboards and an old-fashioned photo booth, which you may or may not want to take advantage of depending on how much photographic evidence you want of your night on the town. Drinks are reasonably priced, and the food menu is diverse and surprisingly good.


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This dueling piano bar has been delighting locals and visitors since it opened its doors in 2000. Located just steps from River Street in Savannah's Historic District, Savannah Smiles is an all-request show in which four piano players duel it out for the audience's affection. The bar's talented musicians wow the audience with their ability to play everything, from jazz to rock to rap to country. In addition to the entertainment, guests can order beer, wine and cocktails from Savannah Smiles' full bar or food off the menu, which includes standard fare such as chicken fingers, fries, mozzarella sticks and jalapeno poppers.


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Savannah Theatre
Photo courtesy of VisitSavannah.com


 

The talented Savannah Theatre cast puts on an array of performances throughout the year full of energy and great tunes. Current, past and upcoming performances have included Jukebox Journey, which features hit songs from the 1940s to 70s; Savannah Live, a variety show with pop, Broadway, Motown and rock music; The Beat Goes On, with music from the 1960s, 70s and 80s; and Christmas Tradition, a glitzy holiday performance with Christmas standards. The building that houses the theatre, the Historic Savannah Theatre, is steeped in history. The theatre, which considers itself the oldest in America, first opened its doors in 1818 and has undergone several renovations over the years.


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Occupying a prime spot in City Market, Wild Wing Cafe is a favorite place to catch live music and eat wings. Most of the sports bar and restaurant's live performances take place on the outdoor patio in City Market, meaning that even passersby can enjoy the music. Wild Wing's regular lineup includes local favorites such as Liquid Ginger, Jeff Beasley, Chuck Couretnay, and Bucky and Barry, along with visiting regional acts. Guests hoping to snag one of Wild Wing's coveted outdoor tables can choose from an extensive menu that includes an insane selection of wings, along with burgers, sandwiches, salads and more.


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This Congress Street staple is the place to go for live music in Savannah. Raw, unpolished and unpretentious, the Jinx has hosted some of the hottest local and regional bands since it opened its doors in 2003. The Jinx boasts a friendly bar staff, laid-back atmosphere and daily happy hours from 4 to 8 p.m. The bar attracts a wide range of patrons, from tattooed hipsters to punk rock college students to tourists who just happened to wander in. A small patio out back is a good retreat for smokers, who, by law, are prohibited from smoking inside the city's bars.


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Amy's thrilled to have the opportunity to share her love of Savannah with the world. A Savannah native, Amy has more than 15 years of experience as a writer and editor, and her work has appeared...  More About Amy

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